In 1961, my mother and sister and I were visiting my aunt and my three cousins; a son (a year younger than I) and two daughters, (each a few years older than I). The girls had just received their first Barbie dolls, all the available Barbie doll clothing, along with the Barbie doll carrying cases in which to store them. I was spellbound! I had never before seen such fabulous dolls in all my short little life (I was 7 years old).
I was familiar with the big "high-heel" fashion dolls of the '50s - they all had small busts, short arms, and big heads with children's faces. All the proportion distortions disturbed me. I much preferred those 8" little hard plastic dolls which also had small busts, short arms and big heads, but their petite size rendered these features less disturbing to me. Most important was that the faces were not at all childlike. In fact, they were rather "hard" in appearance, with the "sleep eye" feature, black plastic eyelashes, black eyebrows, and blood red "cupid's bow" lips resembling the 1920's silent screen stars. The hair was not rooted, but glued to the head in a finger-waved marcelled wad. The short little arms were strung with a rubber band, which also attached to the head for pivoting, but the legs were stiff, and molded in one piece with the torso like a kewpie doll. Sometimes, the feet were flat, and sometimes high-heeled, yet whichever of the two, always had the "shoes" molded onto the feet. Rather than actual garments, their clothing consisted of ribbons of various widths wrapped round and glued to the hard little bodies.