The Good, The bad, and The Barbie by Tanya Lee Stone MAG

January 30, 2011
By Regina_Chen GOLD, Oakland Twp., Michigan
Regina_Chen GOLD, Oakland Twp., Michigan
15 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The Good, The Bad, and The Barbie can be read by anyone who knows what a Barbie doll is – and who doesn't? Originally a young adult writer, Tanya Lee Stone manages to keep the same light-hearted tone here. She remains neutral, allowing readers to form their own opinions on Barbie.

When I first heard about the book, I laughed. But as I thought about it, I realized that Stone has found an important topic here. If the number of contributors represents anything, it shows our strong feelings about this doll. By the end, it's clear that most either love Barbie or absolutely hate her.

Stone tells the story of Barbie and readers learn about creator Ruth Handler's tenacity and how it led to a woman conquering a historically male-dominated industry. Stone describes the effect of Barbie's image on our self-esteem from both angles. This brings readers back to when they played with or watched others play with ­Barbies.

While all of these factors make the book a decent read, the pictures definitely caught my eye. They show the evolution of Barbie and make it apparent how the doll has attracted girls for more than 50 years. Barbie has adapted to the changing times, always the epitome of fashion. Stone also includes pictures of “Barbie Art.” With some of these pieces, it's fairly easy to figure out that the artist isn't a fan.

It is true that Barbie is a controversial topic, and Stone's book is not the first to touch on it. However, her unbiased view and somewhat profound ideas give you a whole new perspective on this famous doll.


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