Friday, January 5, 2018
The Secret Saucy Origin Of Barbie!
I recently saw a fascinating television show which showcased the origins and development of classic toys. Among those was the iconic Barbie doll. It turns out that Barbie was first inspired by a German doll derived from a mildly scandalous comic strip by an artist named Reinhold Beuthin and came about rather as an afterthought when a publisher ended up with a spot to fill in his tabloid paper. Here is a link with the details.
The character named "Bild Lilli" was quite the hottie in the classic Good Girl tradition and much is made of the fact she was hardly innocent in a world in which innocence was less a virtue than in times past. Needless to say the Mattel folks skip over this part of the saga as can be seen here.
That they saw in this exotic figure a way to tap into the daydreams and wishes of girls is at once obvious and more than a bit bizarre. The notion that the Barbie doll is derived from a creation which is likely a call girl makes me laugh out loud.