Despite the criticism, Barbie remains a major pop culture star with over a billion copies sold. Sometimes it is welcomed because of its feminist side, sometimes it is criticized because of its non-inclusiveness, because since its creation, the talk about this plastic icon has not stopped.
Barbie is the embodiment of the dictate of thinness, she has touched generations, inspired designers such as Christian Lacroix, Barber, Armani, etc. Even today, Barbie fascinates children all over the world and even adults. Born in 1959 with her long legs, slender silhouette and Californian look, she is shocking because it is the first time a doll has represented a woman’s body.
Before her arrival, little girls played with dolls to pretend to be their mothers.
Who is Barbie’s mother?
Barbie’s mother’s name is Ruth Handler, she was married to one of the leaders of the toy giant Mattel. While traveling with his family in Switzerland, he meets Lili, a German comic book character.
3 years later, Barbie is born in the likeness of Lily. And for a name, Ruth isn’t going to look far, her daughter’s name is Barbara, so Barbie, and her son’s name is Kenneth, hence the name Ken.
What made this doll so successful?
Since its introduction in 1959, the Barbie doll has been selling very well, little girls can finally imagine their female life through this new doll. And the 60s will help her success, this is the time when women want to enter the working life, so the barbie transforms. At first her world was just hairdressers and evening gowns, she was a bit of a no-nonsense icon, unconcerned with the feminist struggles of the sixties.
Over the years, the original Barbie, a Californian blonde, will develop and she will turn from a housewife into a working girl. We will discover Barbie as a surgeon, an air hostess, a firefighter, a businessman and even an astronaut. In total, he was engaged in more than 200 professions.
Barbie, a mind-blowing icon or an independent female model?
Mattel, the manufacturer is betting on the feminist side to try to overcome criticism, but is a surgeon in a sexy mini work blouse really feminist?
Today, Barbie has 8 skin colors, 17 eye colors, 24 hair colors, and in 2016, the great Barbie took over the magazine. time.
But even with colorful dolls, less graceful silhouettes, Barbie still suffers from its shallow and idle image and remains a controversial and gendered toy. And despite being a black doll, her facial features remain Caucasian.
Recently through a campaign You can be anythingBarbie takes on the faces of inspiring women such as director Shonda Rhimes, activist Saur Marlina Manurung, Chinese designer Lanyu, but also iconic figures such as Rosa Parks, poet Maya Angelou and even influencer Lena Situation.