Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

A Barbie World?

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, March 11, 2009

There’s a lot to celebrate this year, isn’t there? China is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of Communists, Tibet is celebrating the liberation and subsequent deaths of a million monks, and Barbie is celebrating her 50th birthday.

Ain’t that something? Barbie, that delightfully pink plaything of little girls everywhere, turning 50! Wow!

But Barbie isn’t the only plaything to be having a birthday this year, nor is she the only doll with a claim to fame. What many people in the decadent West don’t realise is that Barbie herself was a copy of another doll, Bild Lili, a prostitute doll from Germany, who was in turn a copy of the original slut doll for little girls, known as Shanghai XiaoJie. And XiaoJie is celebrating her 5,000th birthday this year!

Shanghai XiaoJie

XiaoJie’s creator, Wang XiaoJie, watched her seven year old daughter playing with paper dolls, and noticed that she frequently gave them adult roles such as courtesans and whores, and often bound their paper feet to stop them running away. Realising there was a gap in the market, Wang XiaoJie sold her daughter to the local knocking shop and with the proceeds created the original Shanghai XiaoJie doll.

XiaoJie was from the very beginning based closely on the typical Shanghainese girl, vaguely female-shaped with small, underdeveloped plastic tits and an ass like a young boy. She had no heart at all, was very expensive to purchase, and even more expensive to maintain. As with Barbie, she was entirely artificial and had exactly the same scintillating personality and piercing intellect.

XiaoJie has had her appearance altered over the years to keep her in line with current fashions, most notably in 1958 when she was remodelled to have her ribs showing through her skin (‘Great Leap Forward XiaoJie‘), and again in 1965 when her hair was cut short and she was shown murdering all the other dolls (‘Cultural Revolution XiaoJie‘). Yet despite this, Shanghai XiaoJie has always been a plaything of the proletariat, and in this she has remained true to the original vision of her designer.

XiaoJie has not been without controversy, as these examples illustrate:

* In September 2003 Saudi Arabia outlawed the sale of XiaoJie dolls, saying that she did not conform to the ideals of Islam. The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stated “Shanghai XiaoJie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of the decadence of the perverted East. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful.”

* The word XiaoJie has come to be used as a derogatory slang term for a girl or woman who is considered a slut, most notably in the 1997 pop song ‘XiaoJie Girl‘.

* In July 1992 the manufacturer released Teen Talk XiaoJie, which spoke a number of phrases including “Will I ever have enough clothes?“, “I love shopping!“, “Wanna have a noodle party?“, and “Math class is tough!“. Each doll was programmed to say just four out of 270 possible phrases, as that was considered to be the mental capacity for most Shanghai girls. In October 1992, following a number of complaints from the Mayor of Shanghai, the manufacturer announced that Teen Talk XiaoJie would no longer speak, as speaking in public was not a traditional virtue for a Chinese girl, and offered a swap to anyone who owned a XiaoJie doll that did.

* May 1997 saw the introduction of ‘Share a Snarl XiaoJie‘, a doll in a pink wheelchair. Li Xianshang, a 17-year-old high school student with cerebral palsy, pointed out that the wheelchair would not fit through the door of XiaoJie’s Dream House. The manufacturer announced that it would redesign the house in the future to accommodate the disabled doll out back in the dog kennel.

* In March 2000 stories appeared in the foreign media claiming that the materials used in XiaoJie dolls could leak toxic chemicals, causing danger to children playing with them. The claim was rejected as false by technical experts.

Yet despite all this Shanghai XiaoJie continues to go from strength to strength, and has spawned a range of other dolls who compete to be her number one boyfriend, buying her expensive fish-head dinners and mobile phones for the right to pretend she loves them.

Here are just a few of the many XiaoJie dolls that have been released over the years:

Serve The Party XiaoJie SARS Nurse XiaoJie Rice Paddy XiaoJie Mother-In-Law XiaoJie
Maid XiaoJie Liberated Tibetan XiaoJie KTV Whore XiaoJie Green Card XiaoJie
Flower Seller XiaoJie Disco Slut XiaoJie Buy Drink Prease? XiaoJie Barbershop XiaoJie

Shanghai XiaoJie – The World’s Most Loved Plaything!

16 Responses to “A Barbie World?”

  1. justrecently said

    How could you forget moviestar xiaojie?

  2. MyLaowai said

    Funny you should say that. I deleted a couple of images in the review as it made the whole thing too image-heavy, but there were a couple of XiaoJie’s that nearly made the final cut…

  3. s said

    which one is Dolly XiaoJie aka Mrs Mylaowai ?

  4. MyLaowai said

    Droll Stoogie, very droll…

  5. Mate, absolutely priceless! Haven’t laughed that much for a long time :)

  6. Hunxuer said

    This was brilliant. Inspired even!

    There have been reports of faux (gasp!) Shanghai XiaoJie dolls popping up all over the nation by the way of Anhui XiaoJie, Zhejiang XiaoJie, Jiangsu Xiaojie and even Shandong XiaoJie dolls that move over to Shanghai, trick an unsuspecting American/Japanese/Singaporean/Hongkey/Eurotrash Ken Didi Doll into buying expensive meals and drinks and even possibly renting out a Mattel HuaiHai Dream Mansion for these Ersatz Shanghai XiaoJies! Very hard to tell them all apart and zero in on the real Shanghai XiaoJie doll as all seem to have perfected the zero grey matter and starfish on-bed actions perfectly…

  7. MyLaowai said

    Ah yes, the famous “starfish’ manoeuvre. Just lie back and think of the Chairman.

    Mind you, this is China and you know what the local saying is: “Rape is just part of the dating game, and if she isn’t screaming loud enough to wake the neighbours, then she doesn’t want the neighbours woken.”

    So I guess it all averages out somewhere along the line.

    It’s all a bit dysfunctional, if you ask me.

  8. justrecently said

    I’m lodging a solemn representation about your use of this picture about a so-called “liberated Tibetan”. This Xiaojie is, of course, a liberated ex-Tibetan Chinese citizen who enjoys all the rights of Chinese citizen who are all equal under the wise and correct collective leadership with Hu Jintao, Wu Banguo, Wen Jiabao, and Zhang Ziyi at the core.

  9. MyLaowai said

    JR, if you knew where that picture really came from, and whom it supposedly represents, you’d laugh your arse off. That’s a bit like LOL, but in a more educated way.

  10. justrecently said

    Looks a bit like the Baltic seacoast.

  11. Na said


  12. Na said

    Paul, pls comment

  13. Christina said

    I was into Barbie and designer jeans.

  14. MyLaowai said

    Everyone has been into a Shanghai XiaoJie.

  15. […] on Learn from Lei Feng DayScoobydo on Learn from Lei Feng DayMyLaowai on A Barbie World?Christina on A Barbie World?justrecently on Learn from Lei […]

  16. It’s surprising how many dudes I know are dating Asian women. I’ll admit that I do find some Asian women to be very beautiful, but what do you think the appeal is really based on? Why do some white guys only date Asian girls…can somebody explain to me why so many guys have this preference?

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