Economic Differentials in the Tennessee Valley: Barbie as Lens

Only those of us who have lived in the Tennessee Valley, which consists of the Quad Cities (Florence, Sheffield, Muscle Shoals, and Tuscumbia) and some surrounding towns, can truly understand this email forward I received today, but I share it because these stark class differences, and snotty attitudes on some people's part, as represented here -- seem to be fairly common in the south in general. To those who know more about economics in the south than I do, and that would be just about anyone, am I wrong? I'm making a casual observation here.

Florence Barbie

This princess Barbie is only available at English Village. She comes with optional Volvo sedan or luxury SUV and lives in a waterfront dream house. Available with or without facelift and tummy tuck and comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags and sorority T-shirts. Florence Ken comes with optional Clark's Wallabees and an assortment of The North Face fleeces/jackets. He is available at Alabama Outdoors.

Sheffield Barbie

This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer-Gut Ken out of Central Barbie's (discontinued) house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, strawberry lip gloss, three cans of hairspray, 48-color eye shadow and eye liner kit and a see-through halter top. Comes with Barbie's dream double wide trailer. Available at Wal-Mart.

Tuscumbia Barbie

This modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar mini-van and matching gym suit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone sold separately. Available at Cold Water Books.

Muscle Shoals Barbie

This gossip-queen Barbie comes glued to the front seat of her Ford Expedition with your choice of two children that comes with his or her own personalized baseball, soccer ball or softball sticker for the back windshield. Muscle Shoals Barbie is only sold as a two-pack with Ballpark Midge so that they can discuss how much better they are than Tuscumbia Barbie. Ken comes with his own coaching uniform because it's the only way he can see the kids. He's too busy working so he can afford to move Muscle Shoals Barbie to Florence like she told him to. Available at Target.

Russellville Barbie

This Spanish-speaking-only Barbie comes with a 1984 Toyota with expired temporary plates and three babies in the back, without car seats. This is the only Barbie willing to do manual labor. Ken comes in a meat-packer's uniform and is missing three fingers on his left hand. Green cards are not yet available for Russellville Barbie or Ken. Available only at Dollar General.

Central Barbie

This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a classic Metallica shirt, and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. Wants to major in NASCAR at Northwest-Shoals Community College. She has a six-pack of Coors Light and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free. Available at Wal-mart.

It's sad, really. I've always been struck by how easily the polarization of economic classes in my hometown can be gleaned just by looking at the wedding/engagement announcements section in the newspaper.


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ok, even though I am from Florence, I am much more like the Muscle Shoals (with a touch of Tuscumbia) Barbie. LOL, probably why I was always attracted to those guys across the bridge I guess :-)
Dude, and I would love to know where the people in Flo-town get money for the big houses and shopping????

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