Category Archives: Barbie

August 31, 2009, 6:16 pm

Plagiarist Barbie?

Readers of this blog will recall that the release of the Johnny Depp flick Public Enemies brought up bad memories of having had my book mined for research and argument by another author, repackaged and sold as a work of mass-market nonfiction, and then sold again as a film. Injury turned to insult when a person associated with the Depp film called me for some free consulting about Depression-era costume design. Shortly after I wrote the post about getting bushwhacked, I received a phone call from an old college friend, M.G. Lord who had just had the strange experience of seeing passages of a book she had written pop up in a book she had been sent for review.

Lord is a journalist, essayist, critic and the author of several books, one of which — Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll — joined the lively canon of Barbie Studies in 1995. Her account of the life and…

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November 21, 2007, 1:31 pm

Gender, Schmender: Buying Miss Barbie

I just got off the phone with a woman friend whose daughter is having a birthday (note to the childless — birthdays for those whose years number in single digits go on for days. If you are thinking about having a baby you need to know this.) The cupcakes that are going to school today came out of a box, but the cake for last Sunday’s party, while it too came out of a box, was in the shape of a butterfly with multicolored icing. I thought this was a particularly grand gesture and said so.

Although she and her husband used a Williams-Sonoma butterfly cake mold, my friend admitted that the finished product was still a little sloppy around the edges, despite the fact that they both applied their many talents to it. I pointed out that it was the thought that counted, since the little girls were going to eat it anyway, and it was the pinkness and the sugar that really mattered at that age….

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