On Thursday, the world learned that Barbie is a fan of Bowie.
With the release of a doll dressed as David Bowie's brilliant alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, Mattel said he was celebrating the 50th anniversary of "Space Oddity" released in 1969.
The new Barbie doll wears a metallic "space suit" that embraces the body, high platform red boots for the calf and silver earrings with hanging stars. His dark red hair is combed back like that of Ziggy Stardust, and daubed On his forehead is the golden circle he wore. His nails are painted black.
It is a remarkably androgynous aspect for a doll that personifies the stereotypes of the feminine appearance in its first iterations. In more recent years, however, representations of male celebrities have not only been reserved for Ken. Over the past decade, Barbie has dressed as Andy Warhol, Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
Bowie was known for his style of gender flex and his sexual fluency., and Ziggy Stardust was one of the most memorable experiments. He debuted as a character in 1972 with the album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars".
The author Christopher Sandford wrote in his 1998 biography, Bowie: Loving the Alien, that the alter ego was more than just a disguise. During an interview in 1972, Bowie asked American critics to call him Ziggy, and finally admitted that the character was taking control of his personality.
Bowie, who died at the age of 69 in 2016, described Ziggy as a rock star who communicates with extraterrestrial beings before a coming apocalypse on Earth. The last public appearance of Ziggy was in a concert in 1973, which was filmed and released as a documentary years later.
The typical Barbie is aimed at young children, but this doll, which costs $ 50, is marketed for adults. Children growing up in 2019 are not fans of Bowie, and adults are not their typical doll customers, but on social media, some played with the idea of turning the Ziggy doll into their first Barbie.
The first Barbie was launched in 1959, and since then, it has plagued controversy constantly. In the 1950s, critics feared that she was too well-formed. Later, Barbie became the subject of criticism for teaching girls unrealistic beauty standards and for not representing people of color.
In the six decades of the doll's existence, there has been a cascade of Barbies representing different races, occupations, body shapes and pop culture phenomena. There is a Barbie who is a robotic engineer, astronaut, pilot and political candidate. There is a Barbie that represents Frida Kahlo; Katherine Johnson, the mathematics portrayed in the movie "Hidden Figures", and Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American athlete to compete in the Olympic Games in a hijab.
One might expect the Ziggy doll to be the first Barbie with alien connections, but it is not. In 2012, Mattel released the first doll "Empress of the aliens", which wears metal armor and a skirt of "reptilian textures".