The Sindy doll is set to re-emerge for next year’s 50th anniversary, looking as glamorous as ever – but less British than her sixties counterpart.
As Barbie’s younger English rival, Sindy has always been the younger, slightly more demure of the two, who was designed for pre-teen as appose to her controversial older sister who made headlines by being controversial and badly behaved (she got in trouble for having the characteristics of an anorexic, displaying huge boobs on a tiny frame).
Sindy was a sixties chic, a quintessentially British model who reflected the Twiggy Brand and Cool Britannia (a phrase coined in 1967 by Time magazine).
I had a Sindy doll in 1993, when she was still considered chic but sales were dwindling – caused mainly by retailers making her more American, which led to retailers delisting. Born in 1963, Sindy hit her peak in 1968 where she was the best-selling toy of that year.
Dolls are a product of their era; they shape our daughters’ aspirations on how they should look and affirm in our sons that this is what the feminine form should look like. The new model for the Sindy brand shows exactly what is considered attractive now: kooky purple hair plus long, fluttering eyelashes and sexy fashions means that Sindy isn’t as cool as her former model.
She does strike one chord with feminists everywhere though: Sindy has lots of female friends (but no boyfriend) – and the fact that she isn’t Barbie (now a derogatory term for an attractive woman with little substance or intelligence).