Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

What an unpleasant week, but Barbie is Jewish

Moths, builders, flu, too-short dresses . . .

However this piece of old news made me smile:

Although Barbie may seem to be an Aryan ideal, the doll was the brainchild of a Jewish woman named Ruth Handler. San Francisco filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webby awards, considers Handler's role in creating Barbie one of pop culture's great ironies and explores that notion in her new film, "The Tribe: An Unorthodox, Unauthorized History of the Jewish People and the Barbie Doll ... in About 15 Minutes," written with her husband, UC Berkeley Professor Ken Goldberg. The film, narrated by Peter Coyote, premieres Saturday at a sold-out screening at Herbst Theatre. It will also screen at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

1 comment:

lagatta said...

I LOVE the small picture illustrating the SF Gate article - click on it to enlarge it - with the Aryan-type Barbie beside a friend with the raven tresses and aquiline nose of Klimt's "Judith" or the archetypal Beautiful Jewess (Rebecca? Shulamith in CĂ©lan's poem Todefuge?)

Another famous Californian sun-and-fun figure who was actually Jewish - and a real person - was the surfer-girl Gidget.