I had a lot of dolls when I was a girl, or at least it seemed like a lot to me. I had baby dolls and Barbie dolls and rag dolls. I had dolls that walked, dolls whose hair grew, dolls that went in the bathtub only to end up filled with black mold and disturbing water. I had a black doll from the 1930s with rather racist facial features, a freaky-looking marionette from somewhere in Europe, fancy Madame Alexander dolls that I had to get permission to play with, and a G.I. Joe with a deep-sea diver outfit and an assault rifle. I loved all my dolls because I gave every one of them an identity and a complicated backstory in my mind. I would then bring them all out and create some kind of soap-opera-type world in my bedroom, like “Dolls Of Our Lives.” There would be the eternal conflicts between rich doll and poor doll, pretty doll and ugly doll, the well-dressed and the inexplicably-naked. I could do this, in absolute silence, for hours. I am not sure if that was a good thing, but it filled the time nicely and kept me from smoking or something.

The “Dawn” dolls came out in the early ‘70s, and of course I wanted them all. They were like very small Barbies, little pretty fashion dolls with sort of bitchy vapid faces. This did not deter me in the least, as being a hot vapid bitch was a goal of mine. I am still working on that in some areas. Anyway, I was totally sucked into Dawn’s World, via a 4-million-dollar advertising campaign and the idea that I could enter that realm of coolness a decade early or so. Here’s a nicely-faded set of Dawn commercials, worthy for seeing Dawn dance and giggling at her male “companions,” Ron, Gary, and Van. HA HA! Van.

Dawn and her pals stopped production in 1973, and I was getting a bit old for dolls around that time anyway, even though my soap opera stories were getting quite intriguing, featuring teen runaways, a secret romantic rendezvous between G.I. Joe and Barbie’s cousin Francie, and Gary dodging the draft. The U.S. military never would have taken him anyway. I never did enter Dawn’s World, never won a beauty pageant, never wore a sparkling gown, never danced stiffly at a disco while whipping my 4-ft.-long hair around, never had a pink convertible. But come to think of it, I did have a gay boyfriend!

I should be profoundly grateful that I didn’t have this doll, huh? Holy CRAP. (Thanks, Dena!)