Bianca and Space Ken

I saw the name Bianca someplace today and it reminded me of playing with a cousin once when I was a kid. She had two dolls; one a normal 1970s Barbie and another off brand doll in much the same mold that she called Bianca. The only thing I remember about Bianca was that she had red hair and I think she was named after a friend of her mom’s. At first I did not want to play dolls with her but boredom took over and I joined in. She gave me a beat up and weathered Ken doll that was clearly not as well loved as the other two. At some point I molded some aluminum foil around Ken’s shoulders like a short jacket, gave it some peaks or fins and declared he was now an astronaut. My cousin disliked my deviation from her narrative and took Ken away. She also took the foil off of ‘Space Ken’ and put it on Bianca instead and declared her ‘Space Barbie.’ I still tried to suggest a few ideas to my cousin (Funny how I don’t remember her name but can remember her dolls!) but she rejected them all. When my Aunt Katherine asked me why I stopped playing with my cousin, I told her the basic storyline and how it was my idea in the first place, etc. etc. I recall my Aunt Katherine sniffing critically at me and saying “She can do what she wants with them dolls, but Bianca could never go to space, she smokes too much, if you ask me.”

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