If you think Barbie is just a child's plaything, you'll think again after reading this fascinating, funny, and far-reaching biography of the pointy-breasted, slim-waisted, high-arched gal who changed the way we think about dolls and ourselves. Lord, who writes for Newsday, approaches the story like an investigative reporter. She unearths Barbie's low origins as Lili, a slutty doll sold to German men as a gag gift, and goes on to cover the Barbie story on numerous fronts: creative, commercial, and sociological. She interviews Barbie's designers, critics, collectors, even a woman who has undergone more than 50 cosmetic surgeries so she can look like a Barbie doll. Feminist thinkers including Camille Paglia, Betty Friedan, and Susan Faludi also weigh in with opinions. No doubt about it: Barbie is a gal who engenders intense feelings. As Lord puts it, "For every mother that embraces Barbie . . . there is another mother who tries to banish Barbie from the house."
She is a thirty-something eternal teen with a 900 million-outfit wardrobe and more than 1 billion pairs of shoes. The quintessential All-American Girl, she has a secret, sordid past linked to an ice-blond plastic sex toy from postwar Germany. Superheroine, cherished friend, and Space Age fertility symbol, she is one of the most potent American icons of the 20th century. Always in vogue, sometimes in step, forever controversial...forever Barbie.