Botox for Barbie

Courtesy of Mattel

In 1956, Ruth Handler, an American businesswoman, was vacationing in Switzerland when she came across Bild Lilli, a doll that, unlike popular baby dolls at the time, had long, shapely legs and wore heavy makeup. Lilli, in fact, was based on a prostitute in a postwar German cartoon, but Handler was inspired. She bought three Lilli dolls, returned to California and in 1959 created the world's first Barbie doll.

Since then, Barbie's parent company Mattel has sold more than 1 billion copies of its hit toy by cultivating its wholesome image, making it as popular with...

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