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Barbie: The History of America’s Best-Selling Doll

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Barbie: The History of America’s Best-Selling Doll

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1CV043
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Leslie Goddard with dolls and accessories from her Barbie collection (Photo: Leslie Goddard)

For more than 60 years, Barbie has been the world’s best-selling fashion doll, inspiring millions of fans to play with, collect, and adore her. Cultural historian Leslie Goddard explores the history of Barbie, beginning with her inventor, the passionately creative and intensely competitive Ruth Handler. Learn what inspired Handler to develop Barbie in 1959 and how sales of Barbie helped transform Mattel into one of the world’s most successful toy companies.

Delve into the complex cultural battles Barbie has inspired over the decades. Her fans argue that Barbie is a blank slate onto which girls can project their dreams, while her detractors condemn her for promoting unrealistic body ideals. Goddard offers insights into why Barbie has been at the center of deep-rooted debates about what it means to be an American woman and what those debates reveal about us.

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