Barbie: The Doll Girls Love to Torture? OK, it's a very small study. But British researchers studying branding among children found that in quizzing 100 kids, girls reacted most strongly to Barbie -- and not in a good way. The kids found "various and creative ways" to torture the doll: pulling out her hair, putting her in the microwave. Researchers concluded it was a "rite of passage" for girls to separate from Barbie. Mattel points out Barbie is still the No. 1 fashion doll.