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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Doll Story

This week Barbie celebrates her 45th birthday. She debuted on March 9, 1959 and since then more than 800 million dolls have been sold. Barbie has been around so long she’s become a collector’s item. Mattel, the doll’s maker, estimates there are 100,000 collectors who may spend up to $1,000 a year. The original doll sold for $3.00 in 1959, but a boxed Barbie of that vintage went for $3,552.50 on eBay in 2004, according to Wikipedia.

Barbie, who has been everything from a paleontologist to a McDonald’s employee, is not loved by all. Some parents argue that her hour-glass proportions would be anorexic if scaled to full-size. Others believe that her various “careers” demonstrate that a woman can be anything she wants to be. What do you think?

If you would like to know more about Barbie’s history as a cultural icon, check out:

Barbie: Four Decades of Fashion, Fantasy and Fun by Marco Tosa.

Toy Wars: The Epic Struggles Between G.I.Joe, Barbie and the Companies That Make Them by G. Wayne Miller.

Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography by M.G. Lord.

Mondo Barbie by Lucinda Ebersole and Richard Peabody.

Adios, Barbie: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity by Ophira Edut.

1 comment:

MAYBF22000 said...

One must be capable to differentiate between fantasy and reality. All toys are inferior to the real things. As one who has Barbies from child to adult, there had been no intermixing or supplanting reality with fantasy. Though fantasy is a way to escape the mundane or stress of life, it can never be allowed to replace one's sense of reality. I have a collection of model ships and planes. Through them I can fantasize about swimming in the pool on the ship or flying high in the sky. The reality is that I cannot swim. I have an extreme fear of heights. Knowing that Barbie is only a toy of fantasy, it would be obsurd to expect real females to deny their own unique bodies. Toys are to enhance our lives but not rule them. We are not mass produced products with exact measurements. Who has not watched a movie or tv show of some unbelieveable hero that has the ability to do things that we could never do? We enjoy the fantasy before our eyes. How many then go out and try to do those same things we watched the hero accomplish? We dont because our mind knows that it was not real. However, the same logic is not applied to toys. That is the reason for most or not all of the problems blamed on toys. Who has watched the titanic movie repeatedly and then got on a sinking ship? The viewers know the ending but still will watch it again and again. The characters and the music draws them back. These actors were never actually there on the real ship. We allow them to bring the story to life before us. fantasy is fine as long as kept in its proper place.