www.whyville.net Jun 5, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Who is Barbara Millicent Roberts?

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The question has been asked for years: Who is Barbara Millicent Roberts? Many people know her simply from being on store shelves throughout history. Others know her from quietly sitting in her box along with her other vintage doll friends. Then, there are those who know her as the play toy that their children have loved. Either way, we all know her has the blonde fashionista that has been marked down as one of the greatest dolls of all time. Many of you might think that you know all there is to know about this toy, but did you know she had a family? Did you know she had and has a controversial message? Did you know she has a dark past? If not, I dare you to read on about one of the most interesting dolls of all time - Barbie.

Who is Barbie?

Barbara Millicent Roberts, often known simply as Barbie, is a blond hair, blue-eyed doll that has been around since 1959. She was born in the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin, somewhere in the 1960's. She is the oldest of five (or six) children born to Margaret and George Roberts.

What's with this five or six siblings business?

Barbie has four or five sisters, and one brother. Their names are as followed: Skipper, Stacie, Tutti, Todd, Kelly, and Krissy. The reason there is controversy over Barbie's sibling count, is because some people believe Stacie and Tutti are the same person, because of their similar features and age. Because of the confusion, most people believe that these dolls are the same person.

What kind of crazy person would make all this stuff up?

There was a series of novels published by Random House in the 1960s. In these books, Barbie's family, friends, and pets were talked about.

Who were Barbie's friends?

Barbie has had a wide variety of friends from different cultures and backgrounds, but her most commonly known friends are Francie, Teresa, and Midge. The doll Francie has had many looks throughout the years. She is most commonly known for her dark hair and colorful sense of fashion. Francie's skin color has changed throughout the years, like when the African-American Francie doll came out in 1967. Teresa is one of Barbie's close friends. She is thought to be from Italian, Indian, Mexican, or Hispanic descent. Teresa has a tan skin tone, medium brown hair, and blue or green eyes. Midge is a fair skinned doll with green eyes, freckles, and red hair. She is said to be Barbie's best friend. Even so, she isn't too well known because the Midge doll has been on and off the shelves for many reasons.

Many reasons? Do tell.

The Midge doll, often known as the reproduction doll, first came out on shelves while being pregnant with her first born child, Ryan. This caused much controversy, because this doll was not said to have been married. She did, however, have a boyfriend named Allan Sherwood. Many parents were outraged with the Midge doll because it was claimed that she promoted teenage pregnancy and underaged relations. Midge was then pulled off the shelves. She made a second appearance in the eighties as part of the Happy Family line. This time, Midge was pregnant with her second child, Nikki. Allan was also sold in this set. Despite a more family-friendly appearance, this set was discontinued also, as controversial thoughts over whether this doll was married or not rose again. Midge came out again, for a final time, pregnant yet again, this time with her third child. This child was not given a specific name or gender, but many doll collectors name this child Cassandra.

Does Barbie have any pets?

Yes, Barbie has many pets - 40 to be exact! She has cats, dogs, horses, a panda, a lion cub, and a zebra.

What are some of the controversies Barbie has faced?

The most common critique that Barbies have, is that they are too skinny. Critics claim that girls will become unhappy with their body if it is not as slender as Barbie's, and then the girls will become anorexic or bulimic. Barbie is said to be 5 feet 9 inches, and 110 pounds, which is quite unrealistic for a doll of her height. Barbie would have the BMI of 16.24, which is classified to fit in the weight criteria of anorexia.

Why haven't Barbies been removed from shelves then?

Despite all the controversies and critiques, Barbie is the best selling doll around the world. Barbies come in all different colors and ethnicities. There are lots of sets of Barbies for different religions, and there are also lots of Barbies at different ages. Kids and adults enjoy playing and collecting with them all around the world, and they remain some of the most beloved dolls of all time.

Author's Note: Source: http://en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie


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