Who wouldn’t want to play with Jem? She had a catchy song: Jem is truly outrageous. Truly Truly Truly outrageous. Her music contagious. Outrageous! Jem is my name! no one else is the same! Jem is my name!
Before actual human girls were pop stars part time on a TV show, there was Jem, an actual cartoon that was a pop star part time on a TV show. The year was 1985 and some of us were becoming entirely too old (yes, too old) to watch a rock and roll girl cartoon let alone play with a roll and roll cartoon doll. Looking back on it, clearly my reasoning for engaging in such a trifling affair was due to my lack of maturity and direction as well as my parents refusal to buy me a Cabbage Patch Kid.
So there I was watching Jem when my brothers weren’t forcing me to watch G.I. Joe, which consequently, they were also too old to be watching.
As phenomenons go Jem never caught-on. Jem will remain niche in perpetuity. She was certainly no Cabbage Patch Kid. And, I think the reason was the undeniable fact that the Jem doll was, quite simply put, fugly, and she wasn’t fugly in a cute way like a Cabbage Patch Kid. She was real nasty with a big head, big feet, and a flat chest. She had nothing on a Barbie. A Barbie, although is not anatomically possible for a woman, Barbie was a hot doll, a hot doll a middle-schooler could feel good about playing with at an age that was too old to be playing with dolls. Jem on the other hand was not a doll one could feel proud about playing with, she was an embarrassment. She looked like a KISS doll except a woman, but the same body type as Gene Simmons and similar make-up (she sported pink blobs around her eyes not black).
So despite her catchy pop song, and her wonderful back up band, The Holograms, Jem was not as her theme song promised her to be – truly truly truly outrageous. A young girl playing Jem ended up being more like her bitter enemy band, The Misfits, when playing with her in public.
Mister Paula Pazderka