Forever Barbie

The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

Media Type:Audiobook
Genre(s):Nonfiction
Cultural
Narrator(s):Robin Weigart
ISBN:9781666659320
Publish Date:05/07/2024
Run Time:10 Hours, 14 Minutes
Language:English
Publisher:Dreamscape Media

Audiobook

Barbie is a strong, independent doll. But is she a feminist icon? It’s complicated.

Since her introduction in 1959, Barbie’s impact has been revolutionary. Far from being a toy designed by men to oppress women, she was a toy invented by women to teach women what was expected of them, for better or for worse. Whether tarred-and-glittered as antifeminist puffery or celebrated as a feminist icon (or, at any rate, an important cultural touchstone in understanding feminism), Barbie has undeniably influenced generations of girls.

In Forever Barbie, cultural critic, investigative journalist, and first-generation Barbie owner M. G. Lord uncovers the surprising story behind Barbie’s smash success. Revealing her low origins as “Bild Lilli,” a risqué doll for adults sold as a gag gift in postwar Germany, Forever Barbie traces Barbie’s development and transformation, through countless makeovers and career changes, into an international pop culture icon and now “traditional toy.” Though not every doll in the line has been a hit—with pregnant Midge and Growing up Skipper among the more intriguing disasters—Barbie’s endurance, Lord writes, speaks as much to Mattel’s successful marketing as it does to our society’s overall ambivalence toward femininity.

With new accessories, including a preface on the latest developments in the Barbieverse, Forever Barbie “will make you think of America’s most celebrated plastic doll in ways you never have before” (Susan Faludi).