Barbie Turns Fifty

"This March, Barbie Millicent Roberts will turn 50.

"We know her as the age-immune creature Barbie, 11 1/2 inches of plastic delivered by Mattel onto our cultural landscape in a zebra-striped bathing suit.

"She has been painted by Warhol, scrutinized by intellectuals, sabotaged by pranksters, pilloried by cultural critics and purchased more than a billion times.

"Margaux Lange figures she was about 4 or 5 when she got her first Barbie. “I remember very quickly becoming obsessed with collecting as many as I possibly could,” she says.

"Eventually she had around 50. 'I played with them, embarrassingly, until about seventh or eighth grade. In secret.'

"She’s 29 now and makes jewelry for a living; in her studio, along with her soldering torch and other standard tools of the trade, is a much larger Barbie collection.

"But these dolls are mostly in pieces, stored in stacked plastic boxes marked with phrases like “One Eye” or “Mouths With Teeth.”

Read more from today's New York Times Magazine.