When I was about 9 years old, I went through a random decapitation phase. For some reason, I found it quite delightful to pop the plastic heads off of my Barbie, Skipper, and Ken dolls.
Perhaps it was due to boredom; I was outgrowing Barbie and was more interested in the mechanics of how she was put together than how she'd look in a new glamour gown. Also, a Skipper head on a Ken doll was pretty much the most hilarious thing I had ever seen. "I'm drinking milk," my Skipper-Ken would threaten my other Barbies, "And someday, I'll be bigger and stronger, and you'll be sorry!"
Neil Steinberg of Forbes attempts to answer the strange question, "Why Do Girls Mutilate Their Barbies?", hitting on everything from inner-Barbie hate to boredom to a need for self-expression. "A young girl bakes her Barbie doll in the oven. A San Francisco bar invites patrons to have at the dolls with knives. A New York artist drives nails into Barbie, calling it sculpture," Steinberg writes, "What's going on here? How did Barbie, history's most popular doll, celebrating her 50th year as a beloved plaything for girls worldwide, become an object that females of all ages cut, burn, bend, spindle and mutilate? And what does it all mean?"
Plenty of us have admitted to dismantling our Barbies in one way or another; chewing her delicious feet is the most popular admission, though chopping off her hair, seeing if she can "fly" from the car window, and letting her get "a tan" in the microwave are also on the list. Our own editor, Tracie, attempted to electrocute a Barbie last year, with mixed results, and then settled on just lighting her on fire.