Is it finally a Barbie World?

Marcia Frost
4 min readAug 5, 2023

It seemed like the perfect week for a little getaway. I took my service dog, Teddy, and a friend, to Chicago.

The last month has been rough. Despite feeling my health was starting to improve, I received notice my custom power wheelchair was going to be delivered.

Getting a new wheelchair might sound like a good thing, but this is my first and there’s a certain loss that comes with it. I’ve been using a scooter for years for distance. In my mind, I’m still working on getting my body better. I’m not thinking about spending all my days in that chair. Definitely not yet.

I don’t know what I expected when I rode the scooter into the Barbie Café, but I was greeted with “Hello, Barbie!”

We stayed at a great hotel on the Riverwalk (Sheraton Grand) and had a relaxing dinner outside along the water. Chicago Burger Company even had a Pup Menu for Teddy and the Riverwalk was very accessible.

The next day, we headed to the Malibu Barbie Café. This pop-up will be open until mid-October and I thought it would be a great story for one of the television segments I do.

Like the majority of other girls, I had a Barbie as a child. I can’t say I was obsessed with it or collected every accessory. It was just a toy. As I got older and had a daughter of my own, I got her a Barbie because it was the thing to do.

I admit that I didn’t put a lot of thought into the message Barbie was advertising. It didn’t really click with me until the age of plastic surgery and I’d see pictures of women having procedures to look like the unrealistic doll.

I don’t know what I expected when I rode the scooter into the Barbie Café, but I was greeted with “Hello, Barbie!” Every female was given the same welcome, regardless of her abilities or appearance. It was nice.

The café had great food and drinks orchestrated by Chef Becky Brown, plenty of selfie spots, and even a skating rink outside. Everyone was very helpful with accommodating me and my service dog. We fit nicely into this Barbie world.



Marcia Frost

A lifestyle journalist forced to slow down sports, travel, health, music & food coverage when chronic illness changed her life & career.