Thursday, January 08, 2009

Barbie's Bawdy Beginnings

This year Barbie turns 50 years old. Seeing as how Barbie's main purpose in her half-century existence has been to delight very young girls, I was quite surprised to learn that she has some dirty little secrets in her past. In fact, the doll's controversially busty/teeny shape was cloned from a sexy little German doll named Bild Lilli who was based on a bawdy comic book character and sold in tobacco shops and "novelty" (wink, wink) stores. Barbie's creator scooped one up on a European vacation and had her turned into the seemingly wholesome, pink-loving doll we all now know and love. Here's the buxom Bild Lilli:



Here's Barbie:


Can you say identity crisis, little girls? I personally liken this to the age old Britney vs. Christina dilemma.

Remember when Britney was still trying to play it all church-going-sunshiny-sweet-as-apple pie-y'all even though she was writhing on MTV's stage practically nakey? X-tina, on the other hand was all the way booty-out, chaps-wearing, grinding, dirrrrrty. It was the classic virgin/whore complex in its two extremes. I was on X-tina's team all the way. She was a ho fo' sho' and she wasn't even trying to hide it. I admire that authenticity, even if her wardrobe and hair choices were completely questionable. Look at where all of the repression and denial got Britney. I'm not saying you have to let it all hang out, but if you do want to? Don't try and hide it. If you're a Bild Lilli, you don't have to turn yourself into a Barbie. Let your freak flag fly high!

1 comment:

the cherry blog said...

I never knew that about Barbie! Thanks for informing me! I agree with your thought on Britters and xtina - and I think Barbie still holds a strange western 'Ideal' for what is seen as beautiful. xx