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Barbie was supposed to be not only a toy, but also an inspiration to make dreams come true. Here’s how the world’s most famous doll changed

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Although the Barbie doll is over 60 years old, she is an enduring pop culture phenomenon. Only until the end of July at the National Museum in Poznań you can see an exhibition devoted to the iconic toy. This weekend, a Hollywood production about the famous doll will also hit cinemas. It is therefore worth remembering the story of Barbie and disenchanting stereotypes about her.

For children it was a revelation, for adults a shock, but to this day it is one of the iconic toys. Before the appearance of Barbie, all dolls looked like cute babies, because it was assumed that the girls who played with them only dreamed of becoming a mother someday.

A well-groomed, fashionably dressed adult successful woman in a miniature form heralded a social revolution. It appeared in stores overseas in the late 1950s, when the overwhelming majority of American women functioned solely as housewives. Barbie was supposed to show young and old that you can live differently. She was not only a toy, but also an inspiration for independence and fulfilling her own desires.

– Designer Barbie noticed that while boys have adult role models that they can play with, some fireman, policeman, soldier, girls are immediately forced into a caring role. Suddenly, Barbie appears, who is a model who will soon go to work in the office, who will soon fly into space – explains Michał Radomił Wiśniewski, writer and publicist.

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Although Barbie – or rather Barbara Millicent Roberts – quickly became a pop culture phenomenon, her image was often reduced to looks only. For many, she has become synonymous with a harmful image of the female body and an unsurpassed model of physical perfection for teenagers entering adulthood.

Read also: Barbie’s first Down Syndrome doll. “People need to see that there are more people like this in the world”

– The Finns did such a study that if this Barbie body shape was real, then this woman would not have the right to live because she could not breathe and her internal organs would not fit, so indeed the way her body is shaped shows such an unsurpassed ideal of beauty – points out Anna Tatarska, film journalist “Dzień Dobry TVN”.

Barbie on the International Space Stationtvn24

Not only in size XS

Over the years, the company that produces the world’s most famous doll made sure that Barbie did not wear only XS, had different skin colors and opposed discrimination based on origin or age. A few years ago, a doll with a disability was also released. In the National Museum in Poznań, you can now see the lesser-known faces of the iconic toy.

See also: “Unknown faces” Barbie in the museum. “Many of us don’t know her true story”

– I was delighted that Barbie was involved in the Cold War and in the race between the Soviet Union and the United States. When Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, the response of the United States was immediate and Barbie-astronaut was born, says Aleksandra Podżorska, curator of the “Barbie. Unknown Faces” exhibition.

The naive Barbie from the Aqua hit or her parody incarnation from the series “The Simpsons” reinforced the stereotypical image of this toy. However, every year a new version of Barbie is released to help children believe that they can be who they want to be. Barbie has already been an astronaut, a police officer, a doctor or a presidential candidate.

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in the movie “Barbie”Warner Bros

Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated film is set to give substance to the Barbie myth. The famous doll will finally get a resume and prove that thanks to her brilliance and charisma she can leave Barbie Land and make it in the real world. When we break through the superficial assessment of Barbie, it turns out that she can safely be considered an underrated feminist icon.

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24



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