Barbie Millicent Roberts Research Paper

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Lennon Hayes Cannon Women Studies 27 October 2015 Barbie and Culture Barbie Millicent Roberts was born March 9, 1959 at the American Toy Fair in New York City (CITATION Inventors). She went on to become a part of millions of little girl’s lives. Her impact has been highly debated, even before she was released to the public. Barbie has an interesting history and has been constantly changing ever since her release in 1959. Inventor and co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler was inspired to create Barbie when she saw her own daughter, Barbara, playing with paper dolls. She based Barbie off a German doll named Lilli. Lilli was a character in a comic strip and was known for being sexy, witty, and risqué. The doll was sold in tobacco shops and was…show more content…
Handler believed little girls needed a doll to project the future onto. She believed that for girls to be able to do this the doll must have mature features. Handler is quoted as saying, “If she was going to do role playing of what she would be like when she was 16 or 17, it was a little stupid to play with a doll that had a flat chest. So I gave it beautiful breasts” (CITATION time). It is interesting that breasts, large breasts, must be involved for young girls to be able to plan for the future. Barbie’s body was not meant to portray realism, but instead idealism. “As the ideal western woman with long legs and arms, a small waist, and high round chest, Barbie represented every little girl's dream of the perfect mature body” (CITATION plosin). Even before Barbie’s official release mothers across the nation were alarmed at the appearance of the doll. Mattel performed a study before the release that involved showing Barbie to mothers and daughters. The mothers were horrified at the mature figure and outfits of the doll. “Barbie's sexy clothing disgusted many of the women. One mother said, ‘I wouldn't walk around the house like that. I don't like that influence on my little girl. If only they would let children remain young a

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