Barbie was the brainchild of Mattel executive Ruth Handler, who watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls, pretending that they were adults as opposed to children. After some difficulty, Ruth convinced Mattel to create a physical "teenage fashion model" doll with protruding breasts and a tiny waist, which girls could dress up and use to act out their potential future lives. Barbie allowed the girls to imagine themselves as successful, free, independent women as opposed to the traditional stereotypes of being wives, mothers and home makers.
Through the 5+ decades since her creation, Barbie has acted both as a mirror of social change and as a cultural icon that influenced the world around her. Known around the world, her likeness or persona has been featured in books, TV shows, movies, video games, and art pieces, while her brand has been used to sell apparel, cosmetics, and accessories. This amazing exhibit did an excellent job at illustrating Barbie's importance and legacy and confirming that she has been so much more than just a toy.
After having toured three fabulous exhibits at the Museum of Decorative Arts, and after reading about previous exhibits, we definitely plan to return from for another visit on our next trip to Paris. I just wished that this museum resided in our home city so that we could go regularly and not miss the next upcoming show.