Beyond Barbie: A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

Title: Beyond Barbie: A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

Host: Valerie Hatcher

Episode: 15

Release Date: 08/02/23

Duration: 13 min

Show Notes:

Join host Valerie Hatcher as the new Barbie movie sparks a playful romp through nostalgic childhood memories from cassettes and scrunchies to iconic artists and bold fashions.


0:35 – Collagen health hack

1:15 – Intro to Barbie nostalgia

2:30 – Barbie history

6:30 – Barbie vehicles

8:00 – Music memories

12:45 – 80s/90s fashion trends

15:30 – Other nostalgia items

17:30 – Reviving retro fashion

Key Takeaways:

– Barbie has inspired big dreams in girls since debuting in 1959 as a teenage fashion model doll. Her careers showed endless possibilities.

– Cassette mixtapes, early MTV, and artists like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson provided the soundtrack to our childhoods.

– 80s/90s fashion trends like neon, big hair, scrunchies, and mall trips allowed bold self-expression.

– Other nostalgia included handwritten letters, landlines, curfews, Sunday paper TV guides, and riding bikes around the neighborhood for hours.

– Some retro trends can be reworked into modern stylish looks today, like cropped and monochromatic jeans.

Connect with Valerie:

Facebook, Instagram and Threads @iamvaleriehatcher.

Email at

Join Us Next Time:

Stay tuned for more inspiring chats, tips, and stories about the midlife journey. Subscribe on your favorite platform so you never miss an episode! See you soon as we age with grace, style, and a touch of sass.


Valerie: Hey there, beautiful ladies, and welcome back to our Aging with Grayson Style podcast. I'm your host, Valerie Hatcher, and I'm excited to embark on yet another fun episode with you. With the new Barbie movie sparkling nostalgia. Today we're taking a fun trip down memory lane. Grab your favorite beverage and join me. But before we hop into our main topic, it's time for our biweekly health hack. Today's, health hack is about adding more collagen to your diet. Collagen promotes skin elasticity and joint health. It's even said to help with hair health, I add collagen powder to my morning coffee for an easy protein boost. What about you? Do you use collagen?

Now, let's get started. The new Barbie movie has people feeling all the feels about the iconic doll who's been inspiring imaginations for over 60 years. In homage to Barbie and other blasts from the past, today we're reminiscing about the fads fashion, music, and memories that defined our childhood and youth. From cassette tapes to scrunchies, let's dive into the playful past. So, I recently went to see the Barbie movie. Initially, I was hesitant to go as I imagined I'd be the old lady sitting in the theater amongst a lot of moms and daughters. Well, there were a lot of little girls all dressed in pink, but so was I. But surprisingly, there were also a lot of childless adults there, too. If you follow me on social, you know that I highly recommend seeing the movie.

Who didn't love playing with Barbie? Growing up with her glamorous outfits and exciting careers, barbie empowered us to dream big. With careers like teacher Barbie, astronaut Barbie, dr. Barbie. She offered so many personas to ignite our imaginations. I love dressing Barbie and acting out fashion shows and imagining I was an international Jetsetter with my Barbie dolls. She offered us so many possibilities, she empowered us to dream big.

Let's take a minute to go back to where it all began. The first Barbie was in 1959. This iconic doll with her black and white swimsuit, signature blonde ponytail, and thin eyebrows revolutionized the toy industry. Original Barbie was marketed as a teenage fashion model and came with stylish outfits like the zebra striped swimsuit and gold hoop earrings under the creator Ruth Handler. Barbie quickly gained popularity, offering girls endless roleplay options. In the 1970s, Barbie reflected the bohemian styles of the era with bold prints, mini skirts, and fun friend dolls like PJ and Francy. Barbie's friend Christie was the first black Barbie character, and she was introduced in 1968. However, she was often presented as a best friend figure rather than the main character. However, in 1980, Mattel debuted the first black Barbie, followed by Hispanic Barbie in 2007. In 2016, Mattel expanded the fashionistas line to include more diversity in skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles, and body types. Barbie's first wheelchair debuted in 2019, along with the doll with a prosthetic leg. In 2020, the first black Barbie with an Afro debuted. Designed after inspiration by the gymnast Gabby Douglas. Asian, Middle Eastern, multicultural, and curvy Barbies were also introduced over the past decade to present more inclusive role models. I love the Barbie brand has become more diverse and inclusive. Let's talk about the vehicles. I mean, who could forget Barbie's amazing array of vehicles over the years?

From the pink Corvette convertible to the Barbie Dream camper. Playing make-believe road trips with Barbie was the best. Just such nostalgia. Now that we've strolled down memory lane with Barbie, let's shift gears to the sounds that enriched our younger years. Music has such power to transport us back in time. I have vivid memories of listening to the Jackson Five, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Princess Purple Rain on my cassette player.

Now who remembers mixing mixed tapes by recording songs off the radio? The anticipation of waiting for your favorite tune, then quickly hitting record once it came on and rewinding with a pencil to skip commercials, we put in real effort just to hear our favorite hits. Oh, and before cassettes we had forty-five's and LPs that we played on the record player. And then there were eight tracks. Too funny. I loved blasting Michael Whitney, Earth Win a Fire, and other soulful hits while singing in my hairbrush microphone for pretend concerts in my bedroom, learning every lyric and dance move. Music was our social media back then.

And oh my goodness, I just had a flashback of the posters that I used to tear out at the teen magazines and hang on my walls. Of course, we had our walkmans boomboxes and the early days of MTV shaping musical taste. I'll never forget seeing Michael Jackson's Thriller video for the first time. And who could forget Soul Train, an American Bandstand bringing music straight into our living rooms? And I think there's a show, what was it called? Wolfman Jack? Something like that. Concerts that I liked were the Jacksons, the Commodores, Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, and Madonna, and there are so many more to this day. I love music, so these memories just keep flowing now.

The music was pumping and so was the style. When it comes to style, they were about self-expression and fun. We were blessed with so many iconic fashions neon colors, jelly shoes, bell bottoms, hip hugger jeans, stirrup pants, scrunchies which I still wear today, jean jackets, and shoulder pads. The bolder the bigger the better. And let's not forget big hair. Well, in Texas some women are still rocking big hair, but I'm sorry, I digressed. I remember having a huge afro. I think my mom made me cut it because according to her, it was getting out of hand. Then there was the blue eyeshadow and blue mascara for me. I also remember getting in big trouble for wearing makeup, mind you it was blue, before I was allowed to wear makeup. This was way before YouTube makeup tutorials. And my favorite stores to shop were Foxmour, I worked there during high school ,and Contempo Casuals. I don't think that those were just Texas stores. I think they were nationwide.

Prom pictures really captured our bold fashion experiments. Who didn't go for a bright prom gown? I also have fond memories of trips to the mall with friends to browse the trendy shops and add to our wish list.

Before we wrap up, let's revisit some other nostalgic items that came to mind, such as handwritten snail mail, letters to pen pals, friends, and summer camp. Crushes the excitement of going to the mailbox and getting a letter or home phones that were attached to the wall and had super long cords so that you could walk around while gossiping for hours, or at least until your mom told you to get off the phone. Or letting the paper TV Guide, not the one that we have on our television screens today, tell you when your favorite shows were on instead of today. Our binge-watching Netflix, which was one episode after the next. I remember on Sundays being excited for the Sunday paper to come because that's where the TV Guide was. And then just the freedom of riding bikes around the neighborhood for hours with friends. Or the curfew of when you needed to be home was "you need to be home when the street lights came on you". That trip down memory lane was fun for me, and I hope it was for you, too.

Now we have a question from one of our listeners. Barbara from Maine asks, what fashion trends from your youth do you think are worth bringing back in style today? That's a good question. Some trends withstand the test of time better than others. While neon colors and big hair might best stay in the Think, elements like Mon jeans, crop tops, and retro sneakers could definitely make a stylish comeback. The 70s boho vibe also seems to be cycling back around. In my view, fashion is about self-expression and embracing your individuality. Don't be afraid to take inspiration from past decades and put your own modern spin on them. Wear what makes you feel confident and fun.

Well, friends, isn't it fun to go back in time? I remember hearing older people talk about the good old days in this chapter of life. I can relate to the good old days. Not that today isn't good, but the fond memories of the past are what help shape us today. I hope you enjoyed our Barbie-inspired walk down memory lane. Sometimes it's nice to lighten things up a bit. Oh, and don't forget the Collagen health hack. As always, thank you for joining me today. I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's topic, any questions you might have, or even your own memories that you want to share. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and now Threads @iamvaleriehatcher or email me at

Stay tuned for our next episode. Now, you know, I usually tell you what we're going to chat about next, but let's make it a surprise this time. Whatever it is, I'm sure you don't want to miss it. Don't forget to share and subscribe so you don't miss our Tuesday Five to Thrive episodes, where I share five quick tips that are relevant to us. Until next time, stay playful and young at heart. And always remember, together we're aging with grace, style, and a touch of sass.

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