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Is Barbie Full of It?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/05/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Customer Behaviour
Issue number1
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English


An icon, a superstar, an A-list celebrity whose hand- and footprints once featured on the forecourt of Grauman’s Th eatre in Hollywood – alongside Betty Grable’s, Judy Garland’s, Ava Gardner’s and Whoopi Goldberg’s – Barbie is the ultimate ‘It girl’, the doll with it all and then some. A year younger than Madonna, a year older than RuPaul, she doesn’t look a day over seventeen. According to M.G. Lord, channelling Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, ‘age cannot wither her nor custom stale her infinite plasticity’. Nor, if the ‘Barbiecore’ phenomenon is any indication, her popularity. Indeed, if the much-recycled factoids about Barbie are to be believed, she ranks among the most popular women on the planet. One of her figurines is purchased somewhere in the world every other second; more than two billion have been sold in 150 different countries thus far; around 90% of American girls aged between 3 and 10 are proud possessors of the icon, though most own eight or thereabouts; and, if all the Barbies ever bought were laid end to end, from big hair to tiny toe, the resultant recumbent catwalk show wouldn’t just encircle the globe several times over, it would boldly go to infinity and beyond.