Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

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Morrow, 1994 - Antiques & Collectibles - 326 pages
14 Reviews
Far from a toy designed by men to enslave women, Barbie was a toy invented by women for women to teach them what - for better or worse - was expected of them. Controversial cultural critic and investigative journalist M. G. Lord, herself a first-generation Barbie owner, positions the doll as an international marketing phenomenon, an early model of female independence, and a space-age recasting of a Neolithic fertility icon that empowers little girls through its links to a matriarchal, pre-Christian tradition. Lord has sleuthed out Barbie's sordid origins - she was modeled on a sleazy German doll originally sold as a gag gift for men - and debriefed her creators. But Forever Barbie is more than just a corporate history. It is a story of mothers and daughters, men and women, and the way objects are used to teach sex-appropriate behaviors. It is about how we as Americans have defined ourselves, emulating an impossibly homogeneous "America" coded by immigrants and outsiders through movies and dolls. It is about ownership: Unlike Garbo, Marilyn, and Elvis, Barbie is an icon intended to be touched and possessed. And it is about passion: From the collectors who cherish her to the artists who mutilate her, nobody feels neutral.

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Review: Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

User Review  - Gabrielle - Goodreads

Fascinating book by cultural critic MG Lord (and first generation owner of a Barbie doll), tracing Barbie from 1959 to the present. Funny and provocative insights on what Barbie means and why she arouses such passions pro and con. Gave me a lot to think about, and it was most entertaining. Read full review

Review: Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

User Review  - Ishita - Goodreads

A fascinating look into the economic, social, and emotional repercussions of the Barbie phenomenon. Mixing anecdote with interview and archival material, Lord presents a fleshed out portrait of Barbie ... Read full review



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Barbie Culture
Mary F Rogers
Limited preview - 1999
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About the author (1994)

M. G. Lord is an author and critic. Since 1995 she has been a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review and the New York Times Arts & Leisure section. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and ARTnews. She lives in Los Angeles

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