From the OED Word of the Day
| DRAFT ENTRY Dec. 2006 |
orig. and chiefly U.S. Brit. /bbi/, U.S. /brbi/ [< Barbie, pet-form of the female forename Barbara.]
1. A proprietary name for: a (type of) plastic doll in the form of a slim, shapely, young blonde-haired woman.
1959 Official Gaz. (U.S. Patent Office) 15 Sept. TM103/2 Barbie. For doll. First use May 9, 1958. 1971 College Eng. 32 921/2 When the time comes that little girls will really grow up to be doctors, then she will manufacture Barbie doctor kits, in addition to Barbie boyfriends and Barbie fashion shows. 1989 R. BARR Roseanne (1990) I. iv. 33 When we played Barbies, I said why do we always have to play like she's getting ready for a wedding. 2000 P. M Full Montezuma (2001) xvi. 268 The targets were on top of dioramas where Barbies and Kens were dressed as mariachi singers.
2. A woman who is likened to a Barbie doll, esp. in being pretty or shapely but passive, characterless, or unintelligent.
1970 T. SOUTHERN Blue Movie IV. xxv. 270 She smirked self-consciously and gave him a playful elbow jab to the ribs. 'You silly-billy,' she chided in her anomalous 'Barbie' manner. 1987 A. MAUPIN Significant Others ii. 16 She was sick of the sound of her own voice and sicker still of the Ken-and-Barbie anchoroids who habitually asked her the same four questions. 1994 New Yorker 19 Sept. 16/2 One memorable number..features..the female half of the troupe as a bevy of pink-poodle-skirted Barbies. 2002 Premiere Apr. 86/1 She was going to reinvent the female action hero into one who wasn't just another Barbie with karate lessons.
Barbie doll n. (a) = sense 1; (b) = sense 2.
1961 N.Y. Times 18 June 64 (advt.) Travel cases ideal for little girls' trips to dancing school, overnight visits or to bring *Barbie Doll and her wardrobe along. 1966 J. D. M Darker Than Amber (1970) xi. 148 She was all erotic innocence... She made me think of a Barbie Doll. 1973 Time 26 Nov. 79/1 The current Gigi, Karin Wolfe, is a Barbie doll who has been programmed to sing, dance, and fall in love with a chilling absence of presence. 1978 Chicago June 88/1 When the film begins, she is a Barbie doll (straight hair, make-up, maddeningly neat dress), a proper compliant, and dependent Marine officer's wife. 1999 E. FRIEDMAN Then Again 37 It was garnished with a naked Barbie dollher head and upper body immersed in the goo, her shapely, oatmeal-crowned legs sticking straight up
Quoted from the OED