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World Doll Day: Wanna dress up as Barbie or Ken?

By Ismat Tahseen
Jun 07, 2024 06:15 PM IST

Gorgeous costumes and living out a fantasy is making people want to doll up forever!

In earlier times, dolls were crafted with the intention of being shared, much like a chocolate you’d offer someone. These comforting, huggable and undeniably cute companions, standing a foot tall, were as lifelike as they came! The fascination with dolls persists to this day, evident in the existence of doll festivals, conventions, and trips to doll museums found in Delhi and around the world. On World Doll Day (June 8), here’s look at how dolls have inspired different realms of life

The moviedom

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling who play Barbie and Ken in the Barbie movie by Greta Gerwig

Dolls hold as much popularity as real actors. And yes, they sure can be eerie!

A person dressed up as Chucky doll (Shutterstock)
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Take, for example, Chucky, the sinister serial killer doll from the Child’s Play series, or the eerie Annabelle from the supernatural horror film of the same name. And who could forget Barbie, portrayed by Margot Robbie, whose on-screen portrayal sparked a resurgence in fan interest, inspiring people to emulate her iconic style with Barbie-themed weddings and viral dress-up challenges.

They dressed like Barbie and Ken

Rivika Khanna, a cosplayer and founder of Mumbai Anime Corpos, explains, “The fascination with dressing as dolls stemmed not just from Barbie, but also from anime. Cosplayers aim to embody their favourite characters, and dolls, with their beauty, style, and comfort, offer a perfect outlet for self-expression.”

Rivika Khanna and Yankish Sharma as Barbie and Ken (Instagram)

Yankish Sharma, a visual designer, recalls his experience dressing up as Ken, Barbie’s iconic counterpart: “I’ve always admired Ken, and as a child, I dreamt of owning the Ken doll. Dressing up as Ken allowed me to fulfill that childhood fantasy, and it felt incredible to embody the character even for a fleeting moment.”

Vintage charm

Dolls trace their origins back to ancient Egyptian and Greek civilisations, evolving over time from wood and porcelain to retro dolls adorned in vintage dresses with lace and large buttons.

Vintage dolls wear retro dresses with lace and buttons (Shutterstock)

In the US, rag dolls like Raggedy Ann and Andy gained popularity alongside Cabbage Patch dolls. Today, doll collectors abound, with Bettina Dorfmann from Germany boasting an impressive collection of 18,500 Barbie dolls! 


Delhi houses an International Dolls Museum, established by K. Shankar Pillai, featuring a diverse array of dolls from 85 countries, including India, the Middle East and various Asian countries.

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