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考研英语阅读精选(75)

2015-07-23    来源:新东方    【      托福雅思口语高分过

考研英语阅读精选(75)

To date, over 1 billion Barbie dolls have been sold. The average American girl aged between three and 11 owns a staggering ten Barbie dolls, according to Mattel, the American toy giant. An Italian or British girl owns seven; a French or German girl, five. The Barbie brand is worth some $2 billion——a little ahead of Armani, just behind the Wall Street Journal——making it the most valuable toy brand in the world, according to Interbrand, a consultancy. How is it that this impossibly proportioned, charmless toy has endured in an industry notorious for whimsical fad and fickle fashion?

Part of Barbie's appeal is that she has become, according to Christopher Varaste, a historian of Barbie, “the face of the American dream”. Barbie is not a mere toy, nor product category: she is an icon. Quite how she became one is hotly debated among the Barbie sorority. Some think she answers an innate girlish desire for fantasy, role-playing and dressing-up. Others believe that Mattel has simply manipulated girls' aspirations to that end.

Either way, wrapped up in her pouting lips and improbable figure——buxom breasts, wafer-thin waist and permanently arched feet waiting to slip into a pair of high heels——is an apparently enduring statement of aspiration and western aesthetic. She is, according to M.G. Lord, who has written a biography of Barbie, “the most potent icon of American popular culture in the late twentieth century.”

Officialdom has recognised Barbie's iconic status. The Americans included a Barbie doll in the 1976 bicentennial time capsule. Earlier this year, the American government buried her in a “women's health” time capsule, alongside a pair of forceps and a girdle. As an emblem of Americana she is subject to pastiche, derision and political statement. Andy Warhol made a portrait of Barbie, the Campbell's soup of toy brands. An exhibition in London earlier this year displayed “Suicide Bomber Barbie” by Simon Tyszko, a British artist. Her hair was blonde, her hair ribbon red, and around her slender waist was wrapped a belt of explosives, attached to a detonator held daintily in her hand.

Barbie has not colonised girls' imaginations by accident. Mattel has dedicated itself to promoting Barbie as “a lifestyle, not just a toy”。 In addition to selling the dolls, Mattel licenses Barbie in 30 different product categories, from furniture to make-up. A girl can sleep in Barbie pyjamas, under a Barbie duvet-cover, her head on a Barbie pillow-case, surrounded by Barbie wall-paper, and on, and on. There are Barbie conventions, fan clubs, web sites, magazines and collectors' events.

“She's so much more than a character brand,” enthuses a Mattel publicity person, “she's a fashion statement, a way of life.” (449 words)

1. Which of the following statements is true according to the text?

[A] The average American girl aged between three and 11 owns 10 staggering Barbie dolls.

[B] Wall Street Journal is the most valuable toy brand in the world.

[C] The Barbie brand is the most valuable toy brand in the world.

[D] The Barbie brand is worth more than $2 billion.

2. How did Barbie become an icon according to the text?

[A] Barbie has “the face of the American dream”。

[B] She answers an innate girlish desire for fantasy, role-playing and dressing-up

[C] It is Mattel that manipulated girls' aspirations to that end.

[D] Different people have different explanations.

3. Barbie's iconic status is shown in all the following EXCEPT______.

[A] Barbie doll in the 1976 bicentennial time capsule

[B] She was buried in a “women's health” time capsule

[C] She is subject to pastiche, derision and political statement

[D] Barbie has colonised girls' imaginations

4. It can be inferred from the text that Mattel is_______.

[A] a man who created Barbie doll

[B] the name of a toy manufacturer

[C] an individual organization

[D] a sorority

5. The best title for the text may be ______.

[A] Barbie dolls in USA

[B] Barbie's appeal

[C] Barbie's appeal and iconic status

[D] Barbie, the most valuable toy brand

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