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Taking a Look at Barbie Millicent Roberts

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Think of an iconic figure with killer curves and a wardrobe most women would die for? Many names may pop through your mind. Kate Moss? Gisele? Naomi Campbell? Now let's narrow it down a bit more. How about a woman who was also a former news anchor, UNICEF Summit Diplomat, Presidential candidate, and astronaut? The only girl who fits all of these descriptions is Barbie Millicent Roberts, a fair skinned blonde standing at 11 1/2 inches. Since Barbie's debut, she's been reproduced by the billions to meet the never ending demand. Even after 50 years she’s still flying off of toy-store shelves. Two Barbie dolls sell every second, and Mattel’s worldwide sales of Barbie top $1.5 billion every year. The company estimates that 90 percent of U.S. girls between the ages of 3 and 10 own at least one dolls. These numbers indicate that Barbie is still a big part of our culture and lives, and although controversy surrounds her at every step, she still manages to be a well known, sought after woman. Let's delve into the history of how this woman came to be.
Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, whose husband co-founded Mattel, the world's largest toy company. She noticed a gap in the market as she saw her daughter, Barbra, playing with adult paper dolls. At the time, the market for young girls was focused on baby dolls, but Barbra and her friends preferred to play with a grown-up version, dressing them up in outfits and pretending they were the grown up women they were playing with. Ruth then thought to create a 3- dimensional fashion doll that she would name Barbie after her daughter, Barbra. When presenting the idea to executives at Mattel, she was shot down, being told that they were too expensive to make for the amount of detail Ruth ...

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...et at 110 lbs with a book entitled "How to Lose Weight" with directions inside stating simply "Don't eat." Many have said that these dolls are what encourage young women to go to drastic measures to reach the body figure that seems to be valued in our society. However, Barbies are not to blame. Eating disorders were recognized in the 1800s, long before Barbie. And with today's 'skinny culture,' Barbie is simply a reflection of our society. If size 12 women were viewed by the media in the same light as a size 0 is today, Barbie would be made to reflect that. She may be a piece in the puzzle, but a tiny one at that.
To conclude, I think that Barbie was and is a historic piece in our society. From her dramatic reveal to the controversy that plagues her image, Barbie held her head high, trying her best to be adorned and recognized by girls throughout the world.
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