The twisted “Barbie” standard

JP: This is the 50th anniversary of “Barbie”. The links below document the strange origin of Barbie, the impossible standard that she represents, and the bizarre lengths some will go to achieve that twisted standard. Finally Albert Mohler’s comments.

The image above was captured off Ebay.

50-year-old Barbie, based on ‘gag toy for men’


The now-legendary doll was conceived by Ruth Handler, a daughter of Polish immigrants, said Gerber, author of the newly published “Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her.” She and her husband, Elliott, owned Mattel until a scandal involving accusations of cooked books drove them out in 1975, Gerber said.

Handler, who died in 2002, used to watch her own daughter, Barbara, play with paper dolls. Then, on a trip to Europe, Barbara became fascinated with a buxom doll that Gerber said was based on a female German cartoon character, named Lilli, who used sex to get what she wanted.

“My guess is she didn’t know what it was when she bought it,” because at that point, four years after the Lilli doll’s release, it had landed in European toy stores, the author explained.Handler took the doll back to the states and insisted Mattel designers get to work.

“Who would have thought,” Gerber said. Barbie was thought up by a woman and modeled on a cartoon character “who was essentially a prostitute.”

NYTimes on the death of Barbie’s creator


People often joked that Barbie’s measurements were not humanly possible. But in fact it was determined that if the 11 1/2-inch doll were 5-foot-6, her measurements would be 39-21-33. One academic expert calculated that a woman’s chances of having Barbie’s figure were less than 1 in 100,000.

Becoming Barbie: Living Dolls – Real Life Couple Are Models Of Plastic Perfection


Cindy grew up a farm girl in Fremont, Ohio. “I wasn’t that good looking. And my sister was really, really a pretty girl,” recalls Cindy. “She was breathtaking. And everyone used to talk to her more and smile at her more and notice her first.”

But Cindy says she had a lot going for her, even with her old looks: “I was recognized as being highly intelligent when I was a child. I was never shy. I was never lazy. And I was never lacking in ambition.”

At 21, Cindy packed up her things and moved to London, where she went through a lot of changes – including a short career as a punk rocker. Finally, at 33, she began the grand transformation.

“I just wanted to look better,” says Cindy. “Barbie was the blank canvas I filled in all those years ago. It was still my role model.” Cindy didn’t have any of Barbie’s looks, but she did have some money, which she inherited. It was enough to begin the surgeries that made her as plastic as her role model.

“I had laser surgery on my forehead,” says Cindy. “I’ve had upper eyes done, lower eyes done twice. Cheek implants, nose job – two nose jobs.”

She also had four facelifts, a chin reduction, several chemical peels, and more.

“My upper lift has been cut and rolled upwards to shorten the gap between my nose and mouth,” adds Cindy. “My eyebrows, eyeliner and lip liner and the full lipstick is tattooed on.”

It took 31 operations and 14 years, but Cindy’s strange passion for plastic surgery got her a new look — and a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

How much did all that surgery cost? “About $100,000,” says Cindy. “But I did get quality discounts.”

And that doesn’t include maintenance. For instance, her lips will not permanently stay pouty. They’ll have to be re-inflated every few months.

A Birthday Party You Might Miss


The real problem with Barbie is the one often cited by feminists, but they see only the surface dimensions of the issue. Without doubt, Barbie represents the objectification and commodification of an exaggerated vision of female beauty. She is everything many feminists charge, and they are probably right in seeing Barbie as a problem for many girls. They want to look like Barbie and emulate her fictional lifestyle (also projected by Mattel through advertising and the marketing of accessories.)

As some feminists complain, few girls will grow up to look like Barbie. As a matter of fact no girls will grow up to look like Barbie. Her exaggerated features are just not within the human range of proportion.

Conservative Christians have been rightly concerned about Barbie’s in-your-face sexuality. Her immodest dress and romanticized patterns of presentation leave little room for the imagination.

But the most basic problem with Barbie is the fact that she lies. Constantly. The entire Barbie package presents one huge lie about the nature of true beauty. According to the Christian worldview, beauty and truth and goodness are identical. A lie cannot be beautiful and the truth is never ugly. Barbie’s total presentation represents a lie about feminine beauty, suggesting in not-too-subtle ways that external attractiveness (even artificial attractiveness) is the foundation of true beauty.

But, according to the biblical worldview, genuine beauty is found within — in the being and character of a person — not in their external appearance. The first principle of human beauty is the fact that every human being, male and female, is made in God’s image. No one made in God’s image can be anything less than beautiful. Nevertheless, one of the signs and consequences of the Fall is that we are all too confused about true beauty. We are too easily bought off with the “pretty” at the expense of the beautiful. Furthermore, our notions of the “pretty” are themselves evidence of the Fall.

The second principle of the biblical worldview concerning beauty is that it is a function of the person’s character, not external appearance. Some of the most beautiful people ever to have walked the planet have fallen far short of prevailing standards of prettiness. Conversely, many of the people who have been most pretty in popular perception have been devoid of demonstrated moral character and spiritual graces.

JP: Single men this is for you! Look for inner beauty in a potential mate. The Scriptures speak to this kind of character.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands (1 Peter 3:3-5)

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