The real object, of course, was to get girls used to the idea of being objects of desire, using fashion and accessories to draw the attention of dreamy boys. The game was for "girls only."
I played on occasion, but only when my friend Beth insisted, and even then, I found it annoying to have to pretend to like wearing girls' clothes just to go bowling or to the beach with a cute boy. Why couldn't boys go on "mystery dates" with boys?
The answer is that no one at Milton Bradley in 1965 ever considered for a moment that any girl existed who might want to accessorize for girls, or that any boy existed who wanted a dreamy boy at his door.
But nearly half a century has passed. Now we have same-sex marriage, gay senators, gay-straight alliances in high schools, a gay teen in Paranorman, and a video of Woody, the cowboy toy from Toy Story, advising gay kids that "It gets better." Surely in new versions of the game, boys can participate, and there might be male or female dreamboats at the door.
No, not at all. In 1995 Hasbro released a new version of the game, with a real "mystery" component: you received clues about your date from boys talking to you on the telephone, and had to dress properly for 24 potential dates. But it was still girls prepping.
Milton Bradley released several versions to tie-in with Disney's successful (and relatively gay-positive) High School Musical franchise. I checked the latest, High School Musical 3 Mystery Date (2008). You have to prep for a date with one of the four movie hunks, Troy, Ryan, Chad, or Zeke. But you still have to be a girl.