Af udseende var 'Lillie' altså en blended figur af barn og voksen. Men også med en blended karakter: dum blondine af fremtoning, men ellers uimponeret, kvik i replikken og målrettet det moderne arbejdsliv.
She sat in a fortune-teller's tent asking: "Can't you tell me the name and address of this rich and handsome man?" The cartoon was an immediate success so Beuthien had to draw new ones each day.Lilli was post-war, sassy and ambitious and had no reservations talking about sex. As she had her own job she earned her own money as a secretary but wasn't above hanging out with rich men ("I could do without balding old men but my budget couldn't!"). The cartoon always consisted of a picture of Lilli talking to girlfriends, boyfriends, her boss ("As you were angry when I was late this morning I will leave the office at five p.m. sharp!"). The quips underneath the cartoons handled topics ranging from fashion (to a policeman who told her that two-piece-swimsuits are banned: "Which piece do you want me to take off?"), politics ("Of course I'm interested in politics; no one should ignore the way some politicians dress!") and even the beauty of nature ("The sunrise is so beautiful that I always stay late at the nightclub to see it!"). The last Lilli cartoon appeared on January 5, 1961.
Hun var et produkt af det gryende velfærdssamfund med udearbejdende, frigjorte, økonomisk uafhængige kvinder. Lilli var sygeplejerske (# 1143), kontorassistent (# 1182), balletdanser (# 1131), stewardesse – hun var sexet vamp, primadonna, skiløber (#1161) og Dirndl i mange udgaver (#1178, #1175). Hun havde mange ansigter: Tysk hausfrau (#1120), femme fatale i rød silkekjole (#1109), og hun var diva i stram guldlamel kjole (#1105).
Handler had observed Barbara and her girlfriends playing with paper dolls that depicted teenage girls or adult women. To Handler, that was their way of practicing for adulthood. Yet, aside from the two-dimensional paper dolls, no other dolls available in stores portrayed the mature female body. For that reason, she bought two Lilli dolls for Barbara during that Switzerland trip in 1956 -- and one for herself.
They kept Lilli's general figure but scrubbed off some of her makeup, relaxed her smile and used soft vinyl instead of hard plastic to construct her.Fashion designer Charlotte Johnson was hired to create a tasteful, yet chic, wardrobe for Mattel's new doll. This was where maintaining Lilli's extreme hourglass shape was a necessity. Johnson was working with the same types of thick fabrics that were used in garment-making, so the doll had to have an unrealistically narrow waist and large bust; otherwise, the relative thickness of the garments would bulk up the doll and make it appear shapeless.The 11.5-inch (29-centimeter) final product that debuted at the 1959 New York Toy Fair didn't look drastically different from Lilli. Sporting a black-and-white-striped swimsuit, open-toed stilettos and gold hoop earrings, it had Lilli's racy curves but a more demure style. Named in honor of Handler's daughter, Barbara, Mattel called the new doll Barbie.
The thought of having a doll with prominent breasts in the home disturbed some mothers. Barbie's mature body seemed borderline pornographic and potentially damaging to young girls' psyches (an argument that continues to sizzle in today's culture). After all, if the original Barbie were a person, her measurements would be 38-18-34.
Over the course of six months, an advertising guru named Ernest Dichter studied the responses of girls and their mothers to Barbie. From his extensive research, Dichter concluded that instead of attempting to mitigate Barbie's mature qualities, Mattel should emphasize them. Since Barbie was well-dressed and attractive, mothers ought to consider her a tool for teaching their daughters about the importance of appearance and femininity. While some women would later take Barbie to task for imparting such lessons, the advertising tactic worked in the 1960s.
Ruth Handler was born on the 4th of November 1916 in Denver, Colorado. She was the youngest of the ten children born to Jacob and Ida Mosko, the Polish immigrants. Handler’s father was a blacksmith who fled from Poland to avoid serving in the Russian army. Ida Mosko, Handler’s mother soon became ill after giving birth to her. At the age of 6 months Handler was sent to live with her older sister Sarah. Ruth stayed at Sarah’s home until she was 19. An interesting fact about the inventor of ‘barbie doll’ is that as a child she never liked playing with dolls, she rather loved earning tips working in her sister’s drugstore. Ruth preferred work to play and grew up in a family where the idea of women working outside was not at all unusual. Her family’s entrepreneurial spirits were the main reason for the development of enthusiasm in Ruth Handler.