There’s a lot of interesting stores in Shanghai and one of the most interesting had to be the Barbie store. There are hundreds, if not thousands of Barbies, varieties I never even knew existed. It was fascinating being inside, seeing almost a microscope of what the ideal “American” figure should be (tongue-in-cheek on my part of course) embodied in these series of toys, and yet viewed through the backdrop of being in the middle of Shanghai. It was, needless to say, a museum to vanity. And yet I couldn’t help but feel a sense of admiration for how well this “ideal” had been capitalized upon. What exactly will the Shanghainese do once they buy the Barbie dolls? Will they put them up in their rooms? Will they give it to their daughters so they can play with them? Will their view of America be colored by Barbie? Will they long for pink? Contrary to those who might dismiss them as mere toys, a lot of thought goes into the design of each Barbie and you can tell a lot of thought went into the construction and layout of the entire store. Say what you will about Barbie, but this Shanghai store was pretty awesome.