Saturday, October 29, 2005

Eleanor, Put Your Boots On

A story Spencer told me, as close to verbatim as I can reconstruct it.

"The first time my mother had an awareness of material poverty was a doll called Pitiful Pearl. She was a doll that had purposefully thinning hair and an ugly smock of a dress with white polka dots. She looked a little fat, but my grandmother told my mother that that was because her family could only feed her with really bad food. That's how my mother learned about poor people."

And it turns out Spencer accurately remembered the incident that his mother recalled to him from her childhood. A quick search reveals none other than Pearl herself, whose full name turned out to be Poor, Pitiful Pearl — you know, for emphasis. Anyway, meet Pearl.

I think she looks like Angelica from "Rugrats" after having fallen on hard times. Spencer and I agree that it's cute to market poverty as something children should enjoy. What's even funnier is that they eventually decided to ditch the "poor, pitiful" angle and put Pearl in a fancy party dress. A see-thru fancy party dress.

Sure, it's a nice outfit, but you still know she's poor because any well-bred girl would no better than to wear that dress out.


  1. You laugh at the idea of writing on female cyborgs, but one of my english professors, who had just completed her doctorate, wrote part of her dissertation on how cybernetic implant in female characters put those characters on even footing with men. I don't know if she mentioned Seven of Nine. I still have her email address, so I guess I can ask.

  2. It was Christmas and I was seven. I wanted a Barbie as my older sister had a couple. I don't know why my parents bought me a Porr Pitiful Pearl Doll. They we teenagers during the Depression and perhaps they wanted me to uderstand that but all I could think about was they bought me an ugly doll because they thought I was ugly. You see my sisters were beauties and had boyfriends galore. I didn't have a good self image; pretty girls were always getting attention, parts in the grade school plays etc. It's funny what a child will think; I do look much better now, I'm 52 and well preserved. tee hee. Rhonda

  3. Anonymous5:39 PM

    i was 8 and i saw Pearl in the local dime store. i kept going back because she was so ugly i knew no one would ever want her. my mother finally bought her for me because i wanted to have a home. i'm 59, and pearl still lives with me.