Forever Barbie: the unauthorized biography of a real doll

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Avon Books, 1995 - Antiques & Collectibles - 326 pages
17 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  - Amy - Goodreads

I thought this would be interesting but instead it was very dull! There were a few illuminating points, but only a few in the entire book. I was relieved to finish this most scattered essay of ... 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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About the author (1995)

M. G. Lord is an author and critic. Since 1995 she has been a regular contributor to "The New York Times Book Review" and "Times's "Arts & Leisure section. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including "ARTNews," "Vogue," "The Wall Street Journal," "The Los Angeles Times Book Review," and "The New Yorker," Currently, she is completing a family memoir about aerospace culture during the Cold War, which will be published in 2004 by Walker & Company. She lives in Los Angeles.

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