slumber party barbie 1965

In Emile Rousseau gives one of the best explanations of dolls I’ve ever heard. He says that girls play with them either to learn how to tend to the children they will one day have (without the screaming, or defecating, unless you get one of those terrifying ‘Baby Alive’ dolls) or to help them understand what it will be like to have a fully grown body, and clothe it accordingly. In either case, they are supposed to allow young women insight into their future and a non-threatening way to prepare for it. Which is why the advice from the 1965 version of Slumber Party Barbie is so horrifying.

According to The Daily Mail:

Slumber Party Barbie [came with] a set of pink bathroom scales, permanently set to a rather scrawny 110lbs (50kg), and a diet book instructing her on how to lose weight, with just one instruction: ‘DON’T EAT!’

I know we often talk – if we talk positively about Barbie at all – about how she gives women the freedom to imagine being anything they want to be, but “an adult with an eating disorder” really doesn’t need to be one of those options.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

Picture via Etsy

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