Barbie goes back to her roots. Unfortunately.

In case you haven’t ever learned about the origins of Barbie dolls, it’s important that you know this:

In February of 1959, Barbie was first introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York (Barbie Dolls). Her creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler (co-founders of Mattel) modeled Barbie after the German doll known as Lilli. Lilli began as a cartoon character in a daily newspaper called the Bild-Zeitung (BillyBoy 19). This character, known for her large breasts and sexy clothing, was created for adult entertainment “a symbol of sex and pornography for the men of Germany” (Johnson “History”). Handler discovered Lilli while shopping in Switzerland and brought the doll home for her daughter to play with.

So, the arrival of this new Barbie shows that we have, at last, come full circle.

Caution: This toy comes with a CHOKING HAZARD warning. That goes for looking at the ad as well.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at lookingcloser.org soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.


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