Book Review: The Good, The Bad, and the Barbie

the good the bad the barbie
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If you had Barbies when you were younger (or maybe you still have them today!), you’ll love the new book The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll’s History and Her Impact on Us.

This “unauthorized biography” from Tanya Lee Stone (author of the awesome young adult novel A Bad Boy Can be Good for a Girl) looks at Barbie’s humble beginnings back in the 1950’s when entrepreneur Ruth Handler designed the very first Barbie for Mattel to today, where Barbie still thrives and collectors of the dolls number more than 100,000.

In her book, Tanya writes about Barbie’s journey over the past fifty years as she’s become one of the most popular, and divisive, cultural icons in history.

There are those who love Barbie for the way she gave girls the message they could do and be anything they wanted—Barbie’s career choices have often been options that weren’t available to women at the time, like Astronaut Barbie, NASCAR Barbie, and President Barbie. On the flip side, Barbie has been criticized for her ridiculously long legs paired with impossible breast, waist, and hip measurements. And there have been many missteps along the way, including Slumber Party Barbie (from 1965) which came with a scale set at 110 pounds and a book titled “How To Lose Weight.” Rule number one? “Don’t eat!”

But love Barbie or hate her, The Good, The Bad, and The Barbie is a very interesting read, and learning about Ruth Handler’s story as a young entrepreneur who never took “no” for an answer is fascinating stuff!

Like a Boss Rating: 5 Hearts

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