Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

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Avon Books, 1995 - Antiques & Collectibles - 326 pages
2 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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User Review  - Clueless - LibraryThing

I knew it! I knewit! She started as a German porn doll. Don't know if this book belongs in my 'guilty pleasures.' Could probably be a very useful text book on how things get marketed to the poor unsuspecting public. Read full review

Forever Barbie

User Review  - ohshoot -

A must read for any Barbie collector! Price is right! Save your money to buy more Barbies! 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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