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Doll Crazy

Following on to yesterday’s post about religious toys, I’m now reading The Barbie Chronicles, a collection of essays. (Details on the shamefully out-of-date Now Reading section at right.) The opening essay by Steven Dubin talks about these amazing dolls that I wish I could see.

  • Growing-up Skipper "garnered considerable media attention…a thrust of her arm backward and she magically grew breasts."
  • Baby Brother Tenderlove "anatomically correct…drew cheers from some that same year, but not in Louisville, KY: irate women besieged a toy store, leaving castrated dolls in their wake."

Dubin goes on to write "still other dolls are culturally subversive and socially revealing, such as topsy-turvy dolls, with a black face on one end and white face on the other. Some people have suggested that these date back to slavery, when black children would remain alert to flip to the black side when whites were present. They were indisputably popular during the Jim Crow era of segregation…"

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