We tour the Barbie exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum on Mary Anne’s birthday.

by Steve
3 min read

Barbie was a stroke of genius when she was introduced to tiny Boomer girls in 1959. But maybe not immediately recognized as such.

In the pre-Barbie world, dolls were usually much younger - and considerably less, er, developed. Conventional wisdom predicted a flop.

But now, after 250 careers, 30 skin tones, a large collection of Barbie friends, and a seemingly infinite number of outfits, we know better.

Two weird coincidences: Patented on my birthday, by a guy with the same name as my friend Joe.
Barbie got to the moon four years before Neil Armstrong
Dominatrix Barbie
Jane Goodall “Barbie” with a member of the House Freedom Caucus
Nothing creepy about this
Barbie keeping it under wraps
Barbie showing the goods
Among Barbie’s many careers: Disco astronaut and McDonald's worker
Wait for it — Paleontologist Barbie!
Big hair Barbie
Two from the Mattel collection
Comparing Barbie memories across generations
From the recent movie

“So, Steve”, you might ask, “how did you enjoy the exhibition?”

Quite well, thank you. Not so much the dolls as watching the interactions between the current and former Barbie owners as they swapped stories, identified which outfits they owned, and relived some happy days.

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