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 Stories for April 1, 1998:

Deconstructing the Barbie Myth

posted Apr. 1, 1998

About 20 students attended last month’s “Barbies We’d Like to See” conference hosted by Berkeley’s Women’s Resource Center.

Students were invited to bring their own Barbies reconstructed to fit a more accurate image of women. According to Women’s Resource Center staff members, if Barbie were human, her doll proportions would translate into a woman 5 feet 6 inches tall, 110 pounds, with a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist and 33- inch hips.

Guest speaker Alicia Brown of San Francisco State University suggested that reconstructed Barbies help people combat the need to fit a Barbie image.“Barbie is a myth, you can never be her,” said Brown. ”Subversive Barbies make us question the beauty myth.”

Other subversive Barbies present at the conference included GI Jane (GI Joe in a Barbie dress), new age pharmacy Barbie, nuclear lab Barbie, chemist Barbie, astronaut Barbie, doctor Barbie and Wonderbra Barbie.

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