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Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll Paperback – Bargain Price, March 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The history of Barbie's creation, her marketing and engineering by Mattel.
The differences between male and female executives in handling of the Barbie line.
Ruth Handler, Barbie's creator, and other prominent women in Barbie's life such as Charlotte Johnson, who designed her clothes in the early years, Judy Shackelford, Mattel's first female vice president, and Jill Barad, the marketing director & later Mattel COO, who pioneered the "We Girls Can Do Anything" advertising campaign in 1984.
A history of Barbie and ethnic identity (unfortunately someone had clipped pages out of this chapter in the library copy I read, so I can't say too much about it.)
Explorations of symbolic, sexual, & psychological meanings of the doll.
I found this book fascinating. A very enjoyable read. While it explores both the positive and negative views women have had of Barbie, I especially enjoyed the positive, including Barbie's history as a single independent career woman, the powerful career women involved in her creation, manufacture, & marketing over the years, and the somewhat fanciful but enjoyable discussion of her as a mythical archetype of the feminine.
I like when this book ventures into realms of the bizarre, like the exploration of Barbie's image in the context of fetishism and pornography. I suppose some people might be disturbed or offended by this, however.
I was frustrated by the lack of a list of illustrations, since photographs appear throughout the text, & are often mentioned later in the book. It's hard to go back and find the picture she's talking about.Read more ›
This book's writing style is surprisingly cheeky and really well-documents Barbie's physical and occupational changes to the times, right down to the rotation of her torso in 1967 and the examples of pseudosexual accessories that Barbie used vs Ken's (i.e. Barbie's boxy purses with bananas spilling out of it as 'Suburban Shopper' vs Ken's slim electric shaver, long baseball bat, and backyard BBQ ensemble with a barbeque fork skewering a plastic weenie). The book also compares Barbie as a conduit of feminism to young girls and describes the lives and careers of people who worked to promote and construct Barbie as a doll and cultural mainstay.
The only faults that this book has is maybe going too deep/Freudian/fertility goddess, going on and on about company lawsuits and mergers, emphasis on Barbie performance and conceptual art, and bopping back and forth nauseatingly between time periods.
The history of our beloved doll actually mirrors societies changes, for better or worse, in fact she represents a social history of every notable era since her creation. Barbie Forever was a fascinating read, it hooked me from the start.
I still have my original bubble haired Barbie, I'm not a collector yet I still log on at times to her number one web sit just to view new dolls. So it stands to say I wanted to read the book, finished it in three days.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Started reading the library copy had to own it, may buy one for my friend who's a Barbie collector.Published 3 months ago by Belle
Amazing and informative book; it is a wonder what we didn't knowPublished 11 months ago by Emeraldhaw
I recommend this book, and its excellent writing, to anyone who wants to dig into the backstory of Barbie.Published 16 months ago by Gail M. Gary
A fascinating book about a cultural icon. My daughter played with Barbie dolls.Published 20 months ago by G. Mcnally
If you love Barbie, you have to read this book. I checked it out from my local library and loved it so much that I decided to purchase my own copy.Published on January 28, 2013 by PinkiePieCarousel
The writing is very technical so it was slow reading for me. The author has an interesting and artistic way of analyzing many of the incidents and situations he writes about. Read morePublished on September 23, 2010 by lloydeenpeters