counter create hit Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

Availability: Ready to download

Since Barbie's introduction in 1959, her impact on baby boomers has been revolutionary. Far from being a toy designed by men to enslave women, she was a toy invented by women to teach women what-- for better or worse-- was expected of them. In telling Barbie's fascinating story, cultural critic and investigative journalist M. G. Lord, herself a first-generation Barbie owne Since Barbie's introduction in 1959, her impact on baby boomers has been revolutionary. Far from being a toy designed by men to enslave women, she was a toy invented by women to teach women what-- for better or worse-- was expected of them. In telling Barbie's fascinating story, cultural critic and investigative journalist M. G. Lord, herself a first-generation Barbie owner, has written a provocative, zany, occasionally shocking book that will change how you look at the doll and the world.


Compare
Ads Banner

Since Barbie's introduction in 1959, her impact on baby boomers has been revolutionary. Far from being a toy designed by men to enslave women, she was a toy invented by women to teach women what-- for better or worse-- was expected of them. In telling Barbie's fascinating story, cultural critic and investigative journalist M. G. Lord, herself a first-generation Barbie owne Since Barbie's introduction in 1959, her impact on baby boomers has been revolutionary. Far from being a toy designed by men to enslave women, she was a toy invented by women to teach women what-- for better or worse-- was expected of them. In telling Barbie's fascinating story, cultural critic and investigative journalist M. G. Lord, herself a first-generation Barbie owner, has written a provocative, zany, occasionally shocking book that will change how you look at the doll and the world.

30 review for Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard Kramer

    Barbie is already made of material that will never decompose, but she is lifted to real immortality by the dea-ex-machina of the sublime writer/critic/memoirist/historian MG Lord, who proves a point I have always struggled to make, which is that one doesn't need pubes or a navel to make a real impact in the world. The book is hilarious, but only when Lord wants it to be. It is also as deeply serious as Leon Edel's five volume biography of Henry James. It takes the measure of this odd object who Barbie is already made of material that will never decompose, but she is lifted to real immortality by the dea-ex-machina of the sublime writer/critic/memoirist/historian MG Lord, who proves a point I have always struggled to make, which is that one doesn't need pubes or a navel to make a real impact in the world. The book is hilarious, but only when Lord wants it to be. It is also as deeply serious as Leon Edel's five volume biography of Henry James. It takes the measure of this odd object who emerged from the ur-conscious of postwar Germany, found its way over here, and crashed into the psyche of an entire culture, always somehow surviving, always torquing and morphing just enough to both reflect its (her) times and transcend them. Objects like Barbie appear when a culture is in need of them without knowing it, and Lord sublimely tells us why Barbie, how Barbie, and whither Barbie. (Her book on Elizabeth Taylor, which isn't really a book on Elizabeth Taylor, but is REALLY a book on Elizabeth Taylor, is also a five star doozy. THE ACCIDENTAL FEMINIST. Remind me (someone) to tell you my one Liz story, based on an astonishing nine minutes with her in 1989.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I’m not sure why I picked this book up. I do not have any strong feelings toward Barbie. I am neither a collector nor am I a basher of this plastic doll. I understand the appeal for young girls to want the doll and I have some very fold memories with her. There was something fun about changing her outfit whenever I wanted and letting her have a different career every day. In fact, the less items that you have, such as the dream house or pink corvette, the more imagination that you can use with h I’m not sure why I picked this book up. I do not have any strong feelings toward Barbie. I am neither a collector nor am I a basher of this plastic doll. I understand the appeal for young girls to want the doll and I have some very fold memories with her. There was something fun about changing her outfit whenever I wanted and letting her have a different career every day. In fact, the less items that you have, such as the dream house or pink corvette, the more imagination that you can use with her. Ken was a bit worthless and I don’t even remember if I had one. Nevertheless, something possessed me to pick this book up and I don’t regret it. The beginning of this book was great. I loved reading about the creation of the doll and the history of her design. There were some really interesting parts regarding the relationship between Barbie and Mattel. Each chapter discussed a different aspect to the doll and some of these were very interesting. The one part that I found a bit reaching was the sexual impact that this doll had on men during WWII. The connection between Barbie’s breasts and men on the front lines craving milk was a bit stretched for me. In fact, it was ridiculous. And there was a bit of whining from some women that claim that Barbie set them up for sexual failure (even though the author discusses how this stems more from the relationship between these women and their mothers). Overall, the history of Barbie is one worth reading about. This is a doll that was created by women in order to inspire girls, and I did feel that with this book. Is Barbie perfect?? No. But, I have gained some respect for this doll and feel that she does have qualities to offer young girls as they grow up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Forever Barbie by M.G. Lord, a Kindle book I started reading on August 9th. I was in a bind about if I should read a non-fiction biography or a sociological/social commentary book. .... Bingo. This book's writing style is surprisingly cheeky and really well-documents Barbie's physical and occupational changes to the times, right down to the rotation of her torso in 1967 and the examples of pseudosexual accessories that Barbie used vs Ken's (i.e. Barbie's boxy purses with bananas spilling out of i Forever Barbie by M.G. Lord, a Kindle book I started reading on August 9th. I was in a bind about if I should read a non-fiction biography or a sociological/social commentary book. .... Bingo. This book's writing style is surprisingly cheeky and really well-documents Barbie's physical and occupational changes to the times, right down to the rotation of her torso in 1967 and the examples of pseudosexual accessories that Barbie used vs Ken's (i.e. Barbie's boxy purses with bananas spilling out of it as 'Suburban Shopper' vs Ken's slim electric shaver, long baseball bat, and backyard BBQ ensemble with a barbeque fork skewering a plastic weenie). The book also compares Barbie as a conduit of feminism to young girls and describes the lives and careers of people who worked to promote and construct Barbie as a doll and cultural mainstay. The only faults that this book has is maybe going too deep/Freudian/fertility goddess, going on and on about company lawsuits and mergers, emphasis on Barbie performance and conceptual art, and bopping back and forth nauseatingly between time periods.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    I'm doing a project where I try to read books from all kinds of genre. Poetry, art, fiction, non-fiction, etc. This was my women's non-fiction choice for October and I thought I would have to slough through it like other non-fiction that I've read this year. I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book. It had everything! Sarcastic humor? check. Feminists? check. Making fun of old-fashioned homemakers from the 50s? check. And when it got to the part of My First Barbie and the ugly Western Barbi I'm doing a project where I try to read books from all kinds of genre. Poetry, art, fiction, non-fiction, etc. This was my women's non-fiction choice for October and I thought I would have to slough through it like other non-fiction that I've read this year. I was pleasantly surprised. I loved this book. It had everything! Sarcastic humor? check. Feminists? check. Making fun of old-fashioned homemakers from the 50s? check. And when it got to the part of My First Barbie and the ugly Western Barbie, my 6 year old child inside said, "I had that. Me! I had that!" It was a nice trip down memory lane that any girl that got her first Barbie before 1988 could relate to.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kip

    As others have said, this is great fun but the author reaches a bit to make her points. Loved, loved, loved her account of playtesting the "Barbie Queen of the Prom" board game with a variety of top-level career women and committed feminists, and watching them "devolve into back-stabbing, predatory cartoon mantraps out of Clare Booth Luce's The Women" in their scramble to be popular and score boyfriends.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ishita

    A fascinating look into the economic, social, and emotional repercussions of the Barbie phenomenon. Mixing anecdote with interview and archival material, Lord presents a fleshed out portrait of Barbie's claim to fame and her effect on the culture she originally set out to mimic. Intelligent, investigative and informative.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fabienne

    This is not at all what I expected. There is no follow able timeline, no continued thought process, no progression chronologically. Verbose and confusing bouncing around of topics and years.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    3.5* Nice, even-handed approach to Barbie and her history. I think I would have liked it a lot more if there were a new edition -- a lot has happened with Barbie in the 25 years since the writing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Fultz

    Weller Book Club early 2000s

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Glenn Norris

    Got me examining my 1963 Barbie for the first time in years. May spring for a new outfit for her.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lachelle

    Not sure why I finished this book it was so bad. The writing was poor, the structure confusing, the insight so-so. I did learn some interesting things but it would have made a better article than a book. Highlights: - Barbie's proportions "were dictated by the mechanics of clothing construction. The doll is one-sixth the size of a person, but the fabrics she wears are scaled for people". - Barbie was created by a women and-in my opinion-was a more quality product when women were running the line Not sure why I finished this book it was so bad. The writing was poor, the structure confusing, the insight so-so. I did learn some interesting things but it would have made a better article than a book. Highlights: - Barbie's proportions "were dictated by the mechanics of clothing construction. The doll is one-sixth the size of a person, but the fabrics she wears are scaled for people". - Barbie was created by a women and-in my opinion-was a more quality product when women were running the line (i.e. Astronaut Barbie vs. Barbie toting the book "how to loose weight" and piping "math class is hard"). - "In Barbie's universe women are not the second sex. Ken is a gnat, a fly, an accessory of Barbie." - Most insightful, to think about Barbie is to often hold competing ideas in your head at the same time. Consider these Barbie games that all debuted at the same time: We Girls Can Do Anything, Queen of the Prom, and Barbie's Dream Date--the latter nicknamed "The Hooker Game, so similar is players' behavior to that of a call girl".

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This was a daily special from the Nook Book store and I bought it because I collect Barbie. I don't know what to expect from this book, but was excited to read it. However you can tell by the one star rating that I did not enjoy this book. First off, its dated. This book goes about as far as the early 1990s. That's almost 20 years ago. A whole lot has changed in that time. Two, this book needed organization. The writer should have spent more time organizing the book into a timeline, or something. This was a daily special from the Nook Book store and I bought it because I collect Barbie. I don't know what to expect from this book, but was excited to read it. However you can tell by the one star rating that I did not enjoy this book. First off, its dated. This book goes about as far as the early 1990s. That's almost 20 years ago. A whole lot has changed in that time. Two, this book needed organization. The writer should have spent more time organizing the book into a timeline, or something. I hate willy-nilly, wandering writing. Three, I did feel I learned anything about the doll, its creation, or get the feeling of Mattel as a company after 1970. A lot happens in 40 years! Fourth, I wished the author would have made her own chapter and shared her viewpoints and background there instead of having a comment inserted randomly. Fifth, can we get off the sexualized, bondage, fetish this book ran as theme! Good Lord! That's vile. Sixth,, ENOUGH with the RANDOM interviews. YAWN! I can't recommend. Hated every page.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I thought this would be interesting but instead it was very dull! There were a few illuminating points, but only a few in the entire book. I was relieved to finish this most scattered essay of arguments. Her chapters were random and didn't lead on from one another, it seems like she just started writing without any sort of a plan. The pictures, too, were irrelevant most of the time or corresponded to a completely different part of the book. The beginning of it was written quite objectively, like I thought this would be interesting but instead it was very dull! There were a few illuminating points, but only a few in the entire book. I was relieved to finish this most scattered essay of arguments. Her chapters were random and didn't lead on from one another, it seems like she just started writing without any sort of a plan. The pictures, too, were irrelevant most of the time or corresponded to a completely different part of the book. The beginning of it was written quite objectively, like an essay, and then suddenly the first person comes in a few chapters in. She starts talking about herself and her mother. While this writing was good, it was very incongruous and out of the blue, disappearing just as quickly as it appeared. I don't know what the message of the book would be, if at all. She doesn't seem to make any definite conclusion, any summation of some of the, admittedly, curious facts she raises. Well researched, badly drawn together.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I was expecting a breezy history of Barbie, but this book really includes some in-depth psychoanalytic theory and history. I appreciated the deeper look at Barbie's symbolism as a both a cultural object and an individual experience. It definitely feels uncomfortable to think of Barbie as something with connections to, for example, ancient fertility sculptures, but it was also helpful in placing her in a larger context of our views of the feminine vs. femininity vs. womanhood. This book made me w I was expecting a breezy history of Barbie, but this book really includes some in-depth psychoanalytic theory and history. I appreciated the deeper look at Barbie's symbolism as a both a cultural object and an individual experience. It definitely feels uncomfortable to think of Barbie as something with connections to, for example, ancient fertility sculptures, but it was also helpful in placing her in a larger context of our views of the feminine vs. femininity vs. womanhood. This book made me want to pull my Barbies out of my parents' attic and take a closer look at them and remember how I personally played with them and dressed them and acted out their roles! A great read, especially if Barbies were a big part of your childhood toy buffet.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    An in-depth book chronicling the history of the most famous doll. In a day when you can google the facts quickly, this book took a long time to tell the Barbie story. The facts are intriguing enough, from her start as a german porn symbol to a multi billion dollar icon who has had multiple careers and fabulous clothes. The author delves into the deep meaning behind Barbie (did you know there was some?) to the detriment of an otherwise fascinating history. Sex symbol? Fertility Goddess? Work of A An in-depth book chronicling the history of the most famous doll. In a day when you can google the facts quickly, this book took a long time to tell the Barbie story. The facts are intriguing enough, from her start as a german porn symbol to a multi billion dollar icon who has had multiple careers and fabulous clothes. The author delves into the deep meaning behind Barbie (did you know there was some?) to the detriment of an otherwise fascinating history. Sex symbol? Fertility Goddess? Work of Art? You be the judge.... but you'll have to read a lot of theory to get there while reading this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Forever Barbie started out like just my cup of tea- a sociological look and gender construction and culture through the evolution of a disputed plastic icon. Unfortunately, the book devolved into a disorganized collection of interviews with obscure performance artists and lots of assumptions on the part of the author that Barbie is so popular because with her pointed toes she resembles ancient fertility icons. The solid cultural criticism of the first few chapters became a hodgepodge of disparat Forever Barbie started out like just my cup of tea- a sociological look and gender construction and culture through the evolution of a disputed plastic icon. Unfortunately, the book devolved into a disorganized collection of interviews with obscure performance artists and lots of assumptions on the part of the author that Barbie is so popular because with her pointed toes she resembles ancient fertility icons. The solid cultural criticism of the first few chapters became a hodgepodge of disparate theories, and lessened the impact of the entire piece.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Letizia

    I hate leaving books read unfinished, but this one just made me quit within a few chapters. Maybe was because of my lack of knowledge about marketing, history background information about corporations in USA; or else. I recommend reading this book to people that are interested in economics, marketing history in USA. It was difficult to read for me because it has a lot of jargons that I am not familiar with. Is not written for the general public. Plus, I think it was boring because I could not fo I hate leaving books read unfinished, but this one just made me quit within a few chapters. Maybe was because of my lack of knowledge about marketing, history background information about corporations in USA; or else. I recommend reading this book to people that are interested in economics, marketing history in USA. It was difficult to read for me because it has a lot of jargons that I am not familiar with. Is not written for the general public. Plus, I think it was boring because I could not follow the dates, going back and forth very often.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Josephine Ensign

    Who knew that Barbie was modeled after a German porn doll? Before reading this book I thought that was just a feminist urban myth. MG Lord does a good job of delving into the complexities of the Barbie doll effects on our collective psyches. I'm still proud of the fact that I beheaded all of my older sister's hand-me-down Barbies, but I now have greater appreciation for what it was exactly that I was beheading. This is a very engaging read and my favorite of Lord's books.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Wendy Skultety (gimmethatbook.com)

    Pop culture and unintentional sexuality keep this book moving along. Or maybe it was intentional, the way the doll was first made with a submissive "down and to the side" glance on her face, then changed to Barbie looking straight ahead. I never had any such thoughts while playing with my Barbies. I enjoyed them; wonder what that says about me?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a good biography of Barbie the doll. That said I wish the doll would fall off the planet. I think this doll sets up little girls to think in order to be accepted in life we have to look like Barbie. Every lady on the planet is not blonde with a perfect body and hair and clothes. We are all special no matter how we look.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bo Abeille

    This was a wonderful biography written by a woman who related her own Barbie memories to a sympathetic retelling of Barbie's history. I really enjoyed reading something that didn't take issue with Barbie since I love Barbie so much myself.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicole G.

    Tracks the history of Barbie, through her highs and lows, and kind of gets into the artistry and the mythical ways one could look at her. I don't care much for Barbie and what she stands for; however, she morbidly fascinates me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Suzy

    Never was a big Barbie fan. Got about half-way through Lord's attempt to make this doll a feminist symbol and fails badly, in my opinion. Those angled feet that can only wear high heels are NOT the fertility goddess' progs.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Josie

    This reads like a PhD dissertation from someone specializing in feminist studies. It's not that the topic or the ideas are bad. Dissertations just aren't the kind of reading I enjoy. Had to drop this one

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Fascinating book by cultural critic M.G. Lord (and first generation owner of a Barbie doll), tracing Barbie from 1959 to the present. Funny and provocative insights on what Barbie means and why she arouses such passions pro and con. Gave me a lot to think about, and it was most entertaining.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Reading this book in high school set in motion events that cumulated into my only arrest, to date. Long story!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Tried to read it. Maybe I wasn't in the mood, but despite the photos, the writing seemed dense and the book seemed way too long.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    So far, some good history, but way too much psychology! It's just a doll!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    It's not what you think! Sex, corporate espionage, and class warfare--a fascinating read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Theyellowdart

    Boring. I am usually enthralled by the history of this doll, but unfortunately this author bored me to tears.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.