The true story of Barbie and Ken

Barbie is a recognized brand of children’s dolls, created by Mattel and was launched for the first time in 1959.

The true story of Barbie and Ken

The creator was Ruth Handler, an American woman who they say was inspired by Bild Lilli, a famous sex doll at the time. Barbie’s name comes from Barbara, the daughter of Ruth Handler, who is said to be the wife of one of Mattel’s shareholders.

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This doll has become world famous, not only for its appearance, but because several stories have been woven around it, such as its origin, its private life and so much speculation has been made, as if it were a famous person of flesh and blood.

Thanks to this fame, the brand has been able to expand the market of its products, not only by selling the doll, but also selling the house, the husband, the clothes, the books, the cosmetics; all elaborated on a large scale; it also features a cartoon series.

The doll has been the subject of criticism, because it sells the ideal model of woman who proposes a beauty outside this world, because it is unnatural the size of her waist and the shape of her hips.

This aspect, according to analysts, has caused girls who grow up with this toy to form with frustration and fear about their body and the one they will say. For this reason, in 2014 a doll called anti-Barbie, which has cellulite, acne and tattoos, created by Nickolay Lamm was released.

Ken is Barbie’s boyfriend and was created in 1961. When it went on sale, his name wasn’t Ken, it was Carson. Over time their name was changed and several versions of their dolls, have been adopted as emblematic, for LGBTI culture.


Bibliography ► (September 11, 2019). The true story of Barbie and Ken. Recovered from