Barbie’s Problematic Past
Slumber Party Barbie
The Slumber Party Barbie sparked a pro-eating disorder controversy in 1965. The doll came with her slumber party essentials, which included a pink scale that was permanently set at 110 pounds.
The doll also came with a book called How to Lose Weight that advises “Don’t Eat!” While an updated version of the doll was released a couple of years later without the scale, it did include the book.
Barbie’s BFF Midge
Barbie’s best friend, Midge, wasn’t without her own controversies. In the “Happy Family” line, Midge was sold “pregnant” with a tiny baby figurine inside a magnetic, removable womb. Parents were enraged at the doll’s alleged promotion of teen pregnancy.
Growing Up Skipper
In 1964, Mattel debuted Skipper, Barbie’s kid sister. All was well until 1975 when Mattel decided to let Skipper hit puberty with a doll that grew breasts and an inch taller. When Skipper’s left arm was rotated, her rubber chest would inflate and her torso would lengthen. She could revert back to her “child” form when her arm was turned the other direction.
As many can imagine, parents and women’s groups complained about the doll. But these aren’t the only controversial dolls on the list…