Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hardboiled and Loaded with Sin...

I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled and loaded with sin. ---  Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
You know the dame. You grew up with her. If you were like me, she was pretty much your best friend when you were a kid. 


No last name, just Barbie. 

I started thinking about our ol' pal, though. And I had to wonder. Did our moms really know who we were hanging out with? Didn't our dear mothers do the math? The doll was produced to be, as she was introduced to the public in 1959, a role model for young girls.

Oh, really? Sugar, think again. Look, really look at the broad. 

Sure, she was a Dudley-do-gooder as a nurse...
Quite an accomplishment, considering she was a teenager.

She even did a stint as an airline stewardess, and quite a sexy one, too. Still, incredible for a teenager.

Through the years, there were very few avenues our lady did not pursue---up to and including an astronaut and a lawyer.

But, then, when you look really close at her illustrious history, you see those hints that the pretty little chickadee wasn't quite the teen role model after all.

Oh, come on! See-through lingerie for slumber parties? And just look at that catty non-smile smile. Is the gal a lady of the night or what?

Okay, okay. So she did have a million wedding dresses and even sprang for her long-suffering gigolo boyfriend Ken a wedding tux. But they never married, did they?

Ouch! Well, on second thought, I can't actually blame the Barbster for not marrying this weirdsmobile.

But the clincher, the proof, that our Lady of Perpetual Goodness really might not have been such an innocent?
Did you know who Barbie was designed after? The doll who came BEFORE Mattel's Princess of Good?

Ruth Handler, who designed Barbie, modeled the doll after a smoldering, sort of exotic---well, damn---I’ll just say it --- prostitute character from a German comic strip, Bild Lilli. 
Bild Lilli Cartoon and Doll

The Germans designed their doll after a sultry semi-porno character, and she bears an extremely remarkable resemblance to Barbie --- or rather, Barbie bears an extremely remarkable resemblance to Lilli. (Bild Lilli, alas, came first). 

Bild Lilli---remarkable resemblance.

Ah. But, whereas the German Lilli is rather a---how can I say it delicately---strumpet, her American twin, Barbie, is the wholesome girl next door---if you ignore her ‘teenage’ 36-26-36 measurements and her sleek, Cleopatra-type exotic eyeliner. 

Handler named the American bombshell doll---who walked into American history wearing nothing but a sexy black-and-white one-piece swimsuit---after her daughter, Barbara.

Well, honey, I certainly have nothing against a spicy gal. All my heroines in the movies and books are fire crackers, tough dames with smolder and sex appeal.

So ol' Barbie is pretty much my kind of lady.

But---hush, hush, keep in on the Q.T.---and don't tell our mothers just who we were REALLY palling around with.



Sharon S said...

I LOVE it!! I never knew my favorite doll that I played with faithfully as a young girl was modeled after a porn character!



Vastine Bondurant said...

LOL, Sharon! We were influenced SO early, weren't we? And little did our Moms know! LOL..

Kathy K said...

That's just too funny!! Who knew, eh?

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Holy catfish! I had no idea. Barbie was duplicated throughout my bedroom. I must have had 8. Remember the one with wigs? I always wondered about those legs. They seemed to go on forever. And even as a kid I had to shake my head. I knew no one with legs like that.