Vintage Barbie Doll with Nipples
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Fact verses Fable
After the mastectomy, Ruth became annoyed with the lack of choices to replace her breasts and with a Dr.'s ill-fitting advice to "stuff stockings into her bra." So Ruth, being a survivor of breast cancer with an I’ll do it my way attitude, took those strengths and went on to invent the first lifelike, natural-feeling artificial breast made of silicone gel, called “Nearly Me®” for all survivors of breast cancer having to endure a mastectomy.
Elliot & Ruth Handler - Mattel
Elliot Handler the founder of Mattel, Inc., the world's largest toy company along with his wife Ruth,
created the renowned; (and unmatched to date) toy for public recognition;
"The Barbie Doll."
Did she have nipples on her breasts?
The First Barbie Doll was introduced at the American Toy Fair in New York City in 1959. An astounding 350,000 were sold in that first year.
A Trip to Europe
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Elliot Handler (April 9, 1916 – July 21, 2011) and his wife Ruth took an European vacation in the 1950's that would lead to amassing a fortune for them and change the future of every child that played with dolls. Ruth saw a doll in a shop window while walking down a street in Lucerne Switzerland; an adult doll with a woman's body sitting on a rope swing; the Bild Lilli Doll. This doll matched an idea Ruth had been pondering for some time; a life like doll for girls to play with.
Bild Lilli Doll
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Ruth purchased Bild Lilli and brought her back to America with great enthusiasm that with the help of Bild Lilli, Ruth was going to see her idea come to fruition.
Ruth Handler (November 4, 1916 – April 27, 2002) in her idea to create a life like doll with life like features that young girls could play with included breast's because of her thinking; ''If a child was going to do role playing of what she would be like when she was 16 or 17, it was a little stupid to play with a doll that had a flat chest. So I gave it beautiful breasts.''
Ruth and Elliot scouted out Jack Ryan (December 12, 1926 - August 13, 1991) an engineer that worked for a major American defense contractor, to come work for Mattel to design Ruth's idea; "The Barbie Doll." Jack, using the Bild Lilli Doll created a prototype mould Barbie Doll and sent her off to a manufacturer in Japan for production with clear instructions that before mass production the first Barbie Doll off the line must be sent back to Mattel to be cleared for full production. When that Barbie Doll arrived in America for inspection, Jack noticed immediately that the breasts had nipples. Obviously the prototype mould that Jack sent to Japan did not have nipples because he immediately set to filing them off with a file so when that Barbie Doll was returned to the manufacturer in Japan they would get a clear message; no nipples on her breasts. There is much speculation concerning what happened next because even with that strong message given to the manufacture by Jack, the odd Barbie doll torso was still coming off the line with nipples on her breast's.
The Questions Remain
Did the manufacture slightly ignore Jacks plea by keeping that one original torso mould with nipples on the line amongst the many new torso moulds that went into production without nipples? Or did Ruth have a hand in this? Ruth Handler being an owner and final decision maker for Mattel, did she knowingly allow production of the odd Barbie Doll with nipples? My guess is Ruth did just that. Why would I think that? A few reasons, first because that was Ruth's initial idea; a doll for young girls to play with that had life like features and let's face it, all breasts, whether on men or women have nipples. Secondly, because it is a known fact that she had to battle prudish resistance to the Barbie concept among her male executives at Mattel. Was it because she wanted the Barbie doll to have nipples on her breasts and the prudes didn't?
The Barbie Nipples
Then there is the fact that the Barbie Doll torso actually had two different nipple moulds; one small and pointed and the other large and round. Most curious is why were Jack Ryan's initial instructions, "No Nipples" in 1959 ignored by having us see two different nipple moulds?
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#5 1961 Blonde
#4 1960 Brunette
#5 1961 Titian