By Gabriel Bell, Refinery29
If you've ever wondered how Barbie, that plastic paragon of femininity, was able to maintain her biologically impossible figure, it's actually quite simple - she doesn't eat. This is fine if you're an inanimate object, but potentially objectionable if you're carbon-based.
And yet: "Don't Eat," was the diet advice delivered in a mini-book bearing the fascinating title How To Lose Weight, included with the Slumber Party Barbie released in 1965. As a matter of fact, it was the only advice offered in the book. Not good.
Turns out, this rather controversial edition of America's favorite blonde plaything is actually quite infamous within the circle of collectors and enthusiasts who keep track of the history of such things. But, when our non-collector, pro-food news hunters read the Daily Mail report on the doll's recent appearance on a seller's eBay shop, it seemed like some kind of cruel hoax.
But alas, no - the doll was indeed available across America from '65 to '66. Packaged with the book, this Barbie included PJs, curlers, bobby pins, a brush, and a scale that was permanently set to 110 lbs! We know, right?
We suppose we'll never know how many complexes this toy led to or exactly how not eating fits into all the girlish fun of your typical slumber party. But on the bright(ish) side, it's a reminder of how far we've come. Whatever you may want to say about how modern toys' negatively influence children, at least none of them directly suggest voluntary starvation - that we know of.
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