Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover

Barbie Mania!

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The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll’s History and her Impact on Us

By Tanya Lee Stone


Full disclosure here: I absolutely LOVE Barbie!  I loved Barbie growing up, and at 26 I still love Barbie.


So first thing I will talk about is why I love Barbie.  I love Barbie’s clothes.  I loved dressing her up; I had a ton of outfits in her wardrobe.  I also loved making Barbie into whoever I wanted her to be.  That was the beauty of Barbie; she can be anything you want her to be. It truly is a powerful idea.  (Also, I own a pink Barbie T-shirt and I wear it proudly.)  I am not ashamed of my love for Barbie.

So The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie looks at Barbie through the perspective of those who love her and those who hate her.  The reader learns about her history and her effect on people.  Barbie is an icon after all.  However, she is both loved and hated.   The book starts off with information on Ruth Handler who created Barbie along with the creation of Mattel as a toy company.  From there it looks at Barbie through the ages, how she has changed, what she means to various people, etc.

In my opinion Stone did an excellent job presenting both sides of the love/hate relationship people have with Barbie.  I didn’t feel as though Stone was biased one way or another on her feelings toward Barbie, and really until you read her author’s note you would not know how Stone feels about Barbie.

If you are looking for an interesting quick read about the history of Barbie and what she means then I recommend starting with The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie.  Also a lot of great photos are present, including a color spread.  I also loved the chapters on Barbie as art and the chapter on Bashing, Banning, and in the Buff because they provide a fun look at Barbie’s impact and how she is treated.


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