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 is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.


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