As usual, truth is stranger then fiction. I’m listening to NPR radio, and they are discussing the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll. I’m just about to turn the dial, when they start to discuss the actual history of Barbie, and it reminded me truth is always stranger then fiction:

“Barbie was modelled on a German doll, a three-dimensional representation of a fictional prostitute called Lilli in the comic-strip of a German newspaper, Bild Zeitung. She serviced German businessmen and was cheeky to the cops. Platinum-haired and tarty, she would do anything with sweaty clients, provided the money was right. This was the doll Ryan encountered in 1955, and he adjusted it for the consumption of American children, by tidying up her lips and filing off her nipples
.”

The doll Ken, was based on their son, who indeed was named Ken. He was a gay man (amazingly, didn’t we all know Ken was gay?) and died of AIDs in 1994.

See:

Barbie Based on prostitute Doll

Barbies is a true American Icon. I find this classic ‘truth stranger than fiction’ story mind blowing personally. Maybe it’s a yawn to others….

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6 Comments
  1. makster 9 years ago

    Wow!! I never would have guessed that a true American icon would have such an interesting history.
    Interesting, thanks Will

    • Author
      Will Brink 9 years ago

      Makster, it’s very much from the “truth is always stranger then fiction” files for sure. The funny thing is, we all knew Ken was gay and Barbie was a ho…how did we know?

  2. LOUD elf 9 years ago

    Let me guess, next I’ll find out my GI Joe with the Kung-fu grip was actually based on a cross-dressing lesbian pimp with a phobia of snakes.

  3. Daniel 9 years ago

    Pretty interesting stuff, never knew about the history of it but Barbie always oozed slut and ken always oozed gay.

  4. LOUD elf 9 years ago

    I guess this is why it costs so much for her, and there is so much guilt after purchase…

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