Ruth Handler, the "mistressmind" of Barbie, would be a role model for young feminists -- a woman having it all -- if the doll Barbie hadn't taken on a life (or MANY lives) of her own. I was at the age to be ripe for a doll like Barbie when she was first introduced; later, young woman of my generation would come to see Barbie as a symbol of the unrealistic expectations confronting girls growing up. Ironically, what Handler relates is a story of wanting to make adolescent girls comfortable with their bodies and not make the doll TOO pretty. The market wanted her prettier. Barbie changed to reflect a widening of women's roles, but not as avant-garde. As one who has come to resent the cult of Barbie, I found this documentary challenging many of my assumptions.
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