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You've Come a Long Way, Barbie

What you are looking at here is the cover of Tricks with Makeup, a pamphlet published by Ladies' Home Journal circa 1940s. What would be the wisdom you may find within?

Apparently by following these makeup tips you can look pretty or smart...

...but not both. Hmm. Sure, it was the 40s but that tension between beauty and brain does not completely disappear even decades later.

Fast-forward to 2010, Mattel, the maker of Barbie, finally felt safe enough to give Barbie a new career in computer enginnering—considered by some one of the nerdest jobs known to men and women. While a toy is unlikly to actually insprie many girls to rush out and enroll in the CS major, it is still a very positive sign and let's all take a moment to appreciate Barbie's newly acquired geeky chic-ness!

Image source: Ptak Science Books and Mattel


It looks closer to Mary Pickford than Janet Gaynor therefore I'd guess "pretty."


Friday, February 19, 2010 - 12:03

I don't know nikolad, but excellent question!

Alison Lewis

Friday, February 19, 2010 - 08:43

I wonder which type is depicted by the cover illustration ... pretty, or smart?


Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 08:37