The fashion doll: from Bébé Jumeau to Barbie
Feminists have argued that the Barbie doll perpetuates unrealistic standards of feminine beauty and undermines the credibility of women. Yet, for every mother who disapproves of Barbie, there is a young daughter who adores her. Barbie has enjoyed a prosperous and important history in Western culture, but she is simply the most high-profile of a series of iconic dolls produced in the past 150 years. For the first time, this history is explored to reveal how intimately connected dolls have been to fashion and culture, from their early history right up to the present day. The prominence of haute couture in popular culture suggests that the link between fashion marketing and dolls should be an obvious one. Yet to date this connection has not been adequately interrogated. Peers' original and shrewd analysis fills a major gap in cultural studies by examining the doll's associations with concepts of femininity and fashionability.
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