Hello, dolly: meet the Barbie fans getting ready for a fabulous year


It is 63 years since Barbie first appeared – a blonde in kitten heels with a 39in bust. Now, she’s about to star in her own film. Enthusiasts and academics reveal how the doll became an unlikely beacon for feminists and the liberal left

In a colourful Brighton living room, a group of trashily dressed friends plan a trip to Benidorm over a tray of barbecue meats, a cluster of platinum blondes gossip beneath 1970s hairdresser hoods and a “lovely lady” called Alex, dressed in a short skirt and a bra top, runs a thriving pole-dancing club. Meanwhile, in a crystal chandelier-lit salon, a dinner party is under way, where guests sit before a dining table strewn with dismembered body parts and the decapitated head of Jack Sparrow.

“The cannibals’ dinner party was a little joke to see if my husband would notice,” says Tristan Piñeiro of the quirky doll tableaux set up on his living-room walls.

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