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Barbie stirs up frenzy with swimsuit issue debut

Published on Feb 15, 2014 7:49 AM
Barbie dolls are lined up on the wall at a Barbie's 50th birthday party at the Barbie's real-life Malibu Dream House in Malibu, California on March 9, 2009. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Barbie has been many things in her life: A doctor. A paleontologist. An astronaut. A cheerleader. A race car driver. A candidate for the presidency of the United States (US).

Now, on the threshold of her 55th birthday, the world's most famous doll is stirring up a social media frenzy with her debut in Sports Illustrated's 50th anniversary swimsuit edition.

In a tie-in with toymaker Mattel, the top-selling US sports weekly has cast the leggy - if anatomically impossible - all-American doll on a mock cover, sporting a black and white one-piece reminiscent of the one she wore when introduced in 1959.

"The Doll that Started it All", reads the headline on the cover, being wrapped around some issues of the magazine. The hashtag #unapologetic features in the joint marketing campaign, which will also include ads in the magazine.

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