Barbie is Not a Sex Symbol
Barbie, America's number one selling doll, was not a sex symbol. With the aid of a child's imagination, she could be -and do- anything a child wanted. Barbie has endured through decades of social and political upheaval -not to mention the countless attacks by feminists. How did she do it? By staying abreast of the times and by employing some of the savviest marketing in American business history. Barbie is sold in more than 140 countries, accounts for 38 percent of Mattel's sales, and has had more than 500 make overs in her career. It all started when Ruth Handler noticed her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls and imagining them in grown up roles. Ruth realized that dolls on the market at
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A liberated teenager, I would not approve of anything that even remotely denounced me as a woman. Barbie is just a doll to me, a symbol of my childhood. I remember receiving a Barbie Corvette on my sixth birthday. I did not get to play with it for long because my brother, older than me by two years, decided to take over. He placed my "hard-bodied" Barbie in the car and they were off, racing down the streets of San Juan or another equally exotic place. I never wondered why Barbie had large breasts, because all women had breasts of some sort. In actuality, Barbie's breasts were less like breasts and more like large mounds of excess plastic. At ten, Prager states that she found Ken's genitalia-oppressed state ominous. At that age, I had no idea what genitalia were, nor did I care. The last thing on my mind was the sexual habits of two dolls. Prager also states that she did not marry because she could not find a guy who "looked as good in clam diggers" as Ken. She was not so worried about Ken's genitalia that she would not marry him. It is said that if Barbie were human, she would be almost 8 feet tall, have a 39-inch bust and a 23-inch waist. If Barbie were human, she would either be the most sought after basketball player or the highest paid model in history. Yet Barbie is not human. She is an eleven-inch piece of plastic. Any person who would find fault in Barbie's body had deeper issues than a doll's bust size.