Barbie the Doll was based on a prostitute

March 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Posted in interesting (to moose) | Leave a comment

So says Robin Gerber, author of Barbie and Ruth, Ruth being Ruth Handler, Barbie’s creator. From CNN:

Handler, who died in 2002, used to watch her own daughter, Barbara, play with paper dolls. Then, on a trip to Europe, Barbara became fascinated with a buxom doll that Gerber said was based on a female German cartoon character, named Lilli, who used sex to get what she wanted.

“My guess is she didn’t know what it was when she bought it,” because at that point, four years after the Lilli doll’s release, it had landed in European toy stores, the author explained. Handler took the doll back to the states and insisted Mattel designers get to work.

“Who would have thought,” Gerber said. Barbie was thought up by a woman and modeled on a cartoon character “who was essentially a prostitute.”

Well Barbie’s had over 100 careers, why not the world’s oldest? At this point I’m tempted to search for some Barbie Rule #34, but I’ve got stuff to do. Maybe later.

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