Is Barbie Jewish?

 

Jeff Christensen/Getty Images

Ruth Handler holds a Barbie that was created for the doll's 40th anniversary party in New York City, Feb. 7, 1999.

(JTA) - Long before the craze over the upcoming "Barbie" movie, most people could conjure an image of the doll: She was the beauty standard and the popular girl, a perky, white, ever-smiling brand of Americana.

She was also the child of a hard-nosed Jewish businesswoman, Ruth Handler, whose family fled impoverishment and antisemitism in Poland. And some see the original Barbie as Jewish like Handler, a complex symbol of assimilation in the mid-20th-century United States.

The doll's latest revival comes in Greta Gerwig's hotly-anticipated "Barbie" movie, written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach a...



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