Director's Chair

“Barbie Goes Red”


Every now and then I get a wacky idea that is next to impossible to execute, but I will fixate until the mission is accomplished.

Each year at auditions, I select a few Director’s Choice Awards for outstanding solos performed by the candidates. The prize? My pride and joy in my journey as DCC director – the coveted DCC Barbie.

The DCC Barbie represents determination to me because, beginning in 1992, I wrote letters and made phone calls to Mattel with the hope of partnering on a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Barbie. I have all the copies of my letters and the “Thanks, but no thanks” responses I received back from Mattel in my file of “determination.”

Long story short, in 2006 I received a phone call from Robert Best, who was a designer for the Barbie Collectible Division. Robert also was the lead designer for the annual Holiday Barbie! He was based in Hollywood, had been a judge on Project Runway and was a fan of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team on CMT. He continued the call by asking if I would ever consider lending the DCC image to a Collectible Barbie. He mentioned he was originally from Dallas and he loved the DCC uniform and how it could translate on Barbie.

I squealed, laughed at the fact that I had been writing my annual letter to Mattel each year, never took no for an answer, and the final ask came from Mattel to me by a lovely designer who was a Dallas native!

With impressive attention to detail in designing Barbie’s makeup, uniform and boots, every detail was articulate, right down to the crystal earrings she wore. In 2007, Barbie hit the market and sold out in just three days.

Told you so!

We released a blonde, brunette and an African-American Barbie as part of the collection, and you can now only find them on EBay and similar websites.

Fast forward to the present, and I am awarding Emma Mary, a third-year DCC veteran, the artistic excellence award for her outstanding solo at Final Auditions.

Challenge: Emma has red hair and we didn’t make a redheaded Barbie, a mistake I admit now

Blonde barbie safe in her box  Because I’m a visual perfectionist, and can be “over the top” on gift giving, I was bound and determined to transform one of my treasured Barbies (that we keep locked in a closet) into a vibrant REDHEAD. I mentioned it to my staff in a team meeting, and they all rolled their eyes with one of those “you gotta be kidding” moments.  (This motivates me even more, by the way.)

So, my own hair color appointment was the next week at Premier Atelier, and I thought I’d take Barbie along for the ride, and see … just see … if the experts at the Salon could help me achieve my vision of “Making Barbie Red.” My concern was Barbie’s hair was synthetic, and we’d probably wind up with “Bald Barbie” instead of a vibrant redhead like Emma.

Barbie got a consultation and giggles from the pros at Premier Atelier, and it was decided that instead of doing permanent color and foils, Barbie would get a spray on color by the fashionable Bumble and Bumble product line.

Beginning treatmentAfter a painful attempt at getting Barbie out of her Collector’s Edition Box without damaging the packaging, we then had to get her “unwired” from the box. We almost made the fatal decision of pulling her head off for the procedure.

Jonny and Lindsay began the process of coloring Barbie as I looked on. I was getting my red refreshed, too! When the initial color was done, Lindsay did some touch-up red to Barbie’s roots and then laid her down to process. Barbie looked as if she was in post-surgery on a steel table as she was wrapped in a towel while her hair was “processing.”

Barbie checks out her new look

At the conclusion, the Barbie was a vibrant redhead and sat in the salon chair admiring her now look! We all giggled with pride and anticipation of how shocked Emma would be to not only win the Barbie, but also be the ONLY person in the world to have an Official Custom Redhead Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Barbie!

Emma and her BarbieI felt the joy of Christmas when I presented Emma her Director’s Choice Barbie, and the DCC in the room squealed when we revealed the one and only “Emma Barbie.”

In total, I awarded nine Director’s Choice Awards from this season’s Final Auditions: Jacie Scott, Olivia Rene, Carisa Rose, Hannah Alexandra, Mackenzie Lee, Mia Greenhouse, Jennifer Alexis, Ashley Marie, and Emma Mary. A fun time for all!

Barbie Award recipients


More Posts:

  • Just for Fun: Daddy-Daughter Dance: Amelia - June 2013
  • Just for Fun: Daddy-Daughter Dance: Veronica - June 2013
  • Just for Fun: Daddy-Daughter Dance: Katy - June 2013
  • Just for Fun: Daddy-Daughter Dance: Sydney - June 2013
  • Just for Fun: Daddy-Daughter Dance: Jasmine - June 2013
  • Comments

    1. melisa mireles says:

      I think winning individual awards is great. these girls work hard on and off the field practice every chance they can on their own time.. You should be very proud of your girls. I have never seen such a put together group in all the years that I have seen other NFL cheerleaders. Always representing the Dallas Cowboys in their appreance and they way they act and dress. Keep up the good work!!

    2. Finally, a message from Kelli on May 30 since her last message “T’was the Season” Dec. 20, 2012. Fans expect some praise and recognition by DCC management to the 2012 team, especially to those departing the team. DCC pay a huge price to be on the team. The image of the Dallas Cowboys and Cheerleaders has changed so much during the past 50 years. DCC and Star seem to compete with Sports Illustrated and Playboy for more profits. Kelli descibes DCC as Professional Dancers but I can not recall any DCC saying their career goal was to be recognized as a Dancer or a swim suit model. Suggest you review the goals of Tex and Dixie for DCC! clell

    3. Kelli,

      So happy for the red head Barbie!! I am a natural redhead and proud of it. But honestly, grey has taken control over my red locks and we all know that red is really hard to color to make it look natural. So now, I’m a blonde. But it’s OK, I still have pictures to prove that I was a readhead!

      Lori

    4. So cute

    5. i think red heads are beautiful,pretty,cute,sweet,wonderful and special and i love GI Joes
      and barbie dolls too and i’ve got postcard pictures of the dcc girls as my collection to put in my scrapbook to cherish it as well and redheads,blondes,brunetts and dark hair girls are all beautifl,pretty,cute,sweet,wonderful and very special and i play barbie dolls with my
      2 nieces as well.and so cute and congratulations emma and you are one of my favorite dcc girls in the whole wide world. you go girl.
      chris

    6. Dee Clark says:

      Kelli,

      This is by far my most favorite article of yours that you’ve written for the DCC website. Such innovation and such a great story. I always wondered why you didn’t select a redhead Barbie when you first got your wish to work with Mattel to make these wonderful collector’s items. Maybe you can get them to make a special edition of some of your more well known DCC’s? Mattel has a Reba McEntyre Barbie, a Lucille Ball Barbie, etc. Oh, and maybe what you should do the next time a red-headed DCC wins a coveted Director’s Choice Barbie, is buy a regular red-headed Barbie and pull her head off and put it on the DCC Barbie? While it might not make as interesting a story, it would probably be a little easier . . . that is if you can’t get Mattel to make a red-headed DCC Barbie for you.

      L&C,
      Dee

    7. How wonderful!

      Robert was actually a contestant on Project Runway. Season 3, I believe. You must have a ton of dolls. What will you do when you run out?

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