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I wonder how effectively the Barbie folks can "flip the script" and somehow turn Barbie into a feminist icon. It's a really weird spot to be in: I've been cognizant of Barbie's destructive nature myself for at least 30 years now, and it's hard to imagine this perception simply flipping worldwide.

Unrelated side note: I just finished "Console Wars", a very good book about Sega, Nintendo, etc. A fella named Tom Kalinske renovated Barbie's sales back in the 80s (his breakthrough was to have multiple Barbies per year, like Malibu Barbie, President Barbie, etc). Kalenske also invented He-Man and rolled out the Genesis. Not too shabby, and a very good read for a Gen X kid like me.

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Little did I know, but my 20-year-old gave me a full schooling on Barbie last night. Depending on your viewpoint, she was always a feminist icon, helping to reinforce the message that women could have it all. Instead of just taking care of baby dolls, little girls could play with Barbie and think about having a career outside the home. Her appearance set some unrealistic standards, which is maybe why I never saw her that way. Totally remember He-Man and Genesis, although we had Atari.

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2600! Some of those crappy games are more fun than stuff coming out today. Now there's some nostalgia!

And I hear you on the 2nd narrative for Barbie. Both are surely true to varying degrees.

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Oh I can't wait to check out some of the articles and podcasts you've mentioned here. I'm so out of the loop re the Barbie movie but maybe I'll consider checking it out at some stage. My Barbie doll was only ever into horses and spent all her time in the stables so I can't remember seeing her as neither a feminist nor a style icon...!

I think you will resonate with Harriet Brown's book too. And she also had a daughter who suffered with AN. She wrote about that too in Brave Girl eating, but I haven't read it so can't speak for it.

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Ooh, even more reasons to read it! Thank you so much for the recommendation!

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