Playing with dolls that have a weight-loss complex doesn’t particularly spell out ‘fun’ for me, but 50 years ago, Mattel decided this was just what playtime was missing. In 1963, a series of Barbie dolls came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight, which simply advised girls in capital letters: “Don’t eat!”. The dolls’ accessories also included a pink bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs, which would be around 35 lbs underweight for a woman 5 feet 9 inches tall. I’m trying to imagine the Mad Men-esque product development team at Mattel in 1963 sitting around a table, agreeing that “Don’t Eat” was a great idea for the contents of a miniature weight-loss book for children.
“Slumber Party Barbie” and “Barbie Baby-sits” are now considered rare collectors items. Just the accessories alone, without the Barbie itself, can be sold for around $125 on eBay. You know, just in case you think your doll collection might benefit from some starvation dieting.