Mondo Barbie

Lucinda Ebersole, Editor, Richard Peabody, Editor St. Martin's Press $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-08848-4
Members of the Barbie Generation have come of age, and they are taking no prisoners. This terrific collection of short stories, poems and memoirs explores what the Barbie doll, now in her 30s, means and has meant to young women (and some young men). In most pieces, little girls obsess about accumulating clothes for Barbie, getting Barbie together with Ken or how their Barbie collections compare to those of their friends. Barbie becomes a real person who must deal with her perfect figure, ideal boyfriend and fabulously decorated Dream House. Throughout, Barbie's detachable limbs and hollow head make her an easy target for violent dismemberment. In the more way-out contributions, Ken undergoes a sex-change operation to become Kendra, and Barbie becomes a speed freak. Barbie's steady upholding of the American ideal of femininity through three decades of feminist upheaval provides rich material for these smart and brash authors, who include Sandra Cisneros and Alice McDermott. The contributors' often religious childhood relationships with ``playing Barbies'' will gives this volume an energy that will make it must reading for parents whose children learn lessons of womanhood from the doll. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/15/1993
Release date: 02/01/1993
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