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"In 1959 the Barbie doll debuts.

Today, Barbie come to symbolize any stunningly beautiful, but stupid or shallow young woman (see bimbo and dumb blonde). Likewise her male counterpart Ken symbolizes an American college football jock. They both major in a Mickey Mouse course and are emblematic of American popular culture.

Barbie has been criticized for promoting a false female body image due to Barbie's size zero (see heroin chic), perhaps most vociferously at the 2006 Madrid Fashion Week. Commercial spoofs have included The Body Shop's "There are 3 billion women who don't look like supermodels and only 8 who do" campaign; satirical variants include Todd Haynes's Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. For an innocuous satire check "I'm a Barbie Girl."--Sholem Stein

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Barbie is a best-selling fashion doll launched in 1959. The doll is produced by Mattel, Inc., and is a major source of revenue for the company. The American businesswoman Ruth Handler (1916-2002) is regarded as the creator of Barbie, and the doll's design was inspired by a German doll called Bild Lilli.

Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for nearly fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle. In recent years, Barbie has faced increasing competition from the Bratz range of dolls.


  1. A diminutive of the female given name Barbara.
  2. A popular brand of fashion doll.
  3. Any stunningly beautiful, but stupid or shallow young woman, see bimbo.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Barbie" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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