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Barbie Dolls

The Barbie doll first appeared on the American market in 1959. The blonde doll with the white skin, waspish waist, and perpetually perky demeanor was sold by Mattel and was geared toward girls aged 3 to 11 years. The doll was named after the 13-year-old daughter of its creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler. The women’s movement gave rise to what came to be called the Barbie Doll syndrome, which identified the phenomenon wherein girls began dieting at an early age to achieve the impossible goal of looking like their Barbie dolls. When they failed to reach that goal, feminists insisted that the girls developed low self-esteem. Girls of color were also unable to find dolls that looked like them in other ways until the ...

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