As Barbie turns 50 this year, and I turn 30, it seems an opportune time to reflect on just how much, or how little, Barbie really causes problems for little girls' self-image.
Here's the received, feminist wisdom: Barbie's freakishly tiny waist and history of self-abasement (most famously in 1992 when she said, "Math class is tough!") influences girls to have impossible standards for ideal beauty and underestimate their own intelligence.
My own mother, a second-wave feminist and therapist to boot, tried to minimize Barbie's ominous presence in my life to no avail. I would beg, steal, and borrow just to get one of those stiff plastic ladies into my hot little hands.
And here I am, a couple decades later – happy with my curves, convinced of my own intelligence, and unabashedly feminist.
Read the rest here.