I, Doll: The Unauthorized Biography of America's 11-1/2 Inch Sweetheart | Chicago Reader

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“I want to be like Barbie—that bitch has everything,” reads a popular T-shirt, nailing the consumerist appeal of the world's most popular doll. This funny, incisive 1996 video documentary by Tula Asselanis traces the Barbie phenomenon from its 1959 launch by Mattel (the face and figure were copied from Bild Lilli, an erotic German doll) through Barbie's countless careers, clothing lines, accessories, and plastic pals (not just Ken and Skipper but, in 1967, Colored Francie). Asselanis hits all the expected notes, rapping Barbie for her sexism, materialism, and anorexic physique, though the video doesn't seem to recognize the postfeminist confusion of Barbie's recent history, when she can't decide whether to run for president or just buy more stuff. 57 min.

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