According to Wikipedia, Bimbo is a term that emerged in popular English language usage in the early 20th century to describe a physically attractive but unintelligent woman.
In the ’90s, the Danish band Aqua used the word Bimbo in their major hit Barbie Girl, using the dumb blonde archetype as well (“I’m a blonde bimbo girl…”), which was noted by Mattel in the legal conflict against Aqua and their record company for the representation of the popular Barbie doll.
The word Bimbo carried with it an unspoken additional inference of less than upstanding morality which stemmed more from being “stupid” than from being “evil.”
When someone got Grace her first Barbie dolls (it was inevitable, I suppose), her aunt Cara and I taught her to repeat that “Barbie is a Bimbo.” We found that terribly amusing. Everyone did, it seemed. That is until one day when she announced (she was 3 or 4 years old at the time) that “Mommy is a Bimbo.”
I will repeat here what I said affirmed then: we had NOTHING to do with that declaration.
The first time I traveled to Costa Rica was also the first time I encountered Bimbo Bread. Founded in Mexico City in 1945, Bimbo brought packaged sliced bread to the Mexican market. The bakery was also first in selling traditional Mexican sweet bread. Both are available throughout Latin American and the US. Today, Bimbo Bakeries USA include the Thomas, Brownberry, Entenmann’s and Boboli brands.
But I digress…
As you’d anticipate from a popular bread company, Bimbo advertisements could be seen all over San Jose that first year I was there with a group from Faith Church. The small store just up the road from the church where we served had a sign on the side of the building with the common tag line which, translated into English read: Bimbo: Always Fresh, Always Hot! Is this an example of irony, maybe?
I’ve gotten over giggling when I see the signs for Bimbo bread. Now I mostly smile from the memories I have of trying to explain those early giggles to my Tico friends and the Bimbo bread t-shirt that Lucy gave me.