Baby for millions: to the Barbie birthday

Baby for millions: to the Barbie birthday

The beauty ideal, a fashion icon, top model, and also girls dream toy – and all this is about her, beautiful and inimitable Barbara Millicent Roberts, better known as Barbie. This blonde beauty will celebrate her 63rd birthday on March 9.

Barbie doll creation history

In the distant 50s, the wife of the founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler, noticed that her daughter Barbara and her friends lost interest in the baby dolls, popular at that time. Barbara raved about a real adult doll with fashionable clothes and beautiful hair, that could be combed. Then Handler created the doll, naming it after her daughter, whom she affectionately called Barbie. For the forts time, toy was presented at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959. Then she had a magnificent fringe, a wasp waist and plump lips.

Soon Barbie became the girls’ favorite toy all over the world. About 350 thousand dolls were sold just in a year, and very soon she became the main character of many games, cartoons, and Dior, Kenzo, Pierre Cardin and other popular fashion designers sewed outfits for her. And for the 200th anniversary of the USA the doll along with Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse was included into the list of the cultural heritage of the century.

Barbie: friend or enemy?

For her 63 years Barbie doll has been a target for critics for several times. Dissatisfied parents argued, that the toy had a bad effect on the psyche of children, imposing unnatural ideals of beauty on them. In 1997 Mattel made Barbie’s waist wider, by the result of numerous complaints. And later, people started talking, that the doll is of the same type and boring. So, in 2016 a new series of Barbie dolls was released, it consisted of models in four physiques and seven skin tones, more than 20 eye colors and 24 types of hairstyles. And the plus size Barbie has gained wide popularity and success, she even got on the cover of Time magazine.

In addition to all, Barbie doll is often blamed of imposing stereotypes about the female gender. The reason for that was the production of talking Barbie dolls in 1992. Then her vocabulary consisted of the phrases: “Do we have enough clothes?”, “I love shopping!”, “Mathematics is difficult”, “Let’s have a party!”. Parents decided, that the doll promoted a consumer lifestyle and children’s unwillingness to study.

Still everyone’s favorite Barbie: why?

Despite everything, Barbie doll creation became the real revolution in the toy’s world. For a short time, she managed to gain millions of hearts. This was facilitated by the fact, that in those years waves of emancipation swept through Europe, the self-consciousness of a woman as an equal to a man was strengthened. Successful, beautiful, sociable and trying on the professions of an astronaut, teacher, top manager, businesswoman and even an Olympic champion – it was precisely such a toy, that personifies a self-sufficient European woman that the world lacked.

Over the years, Barbie held a strong hold on the global market, and there is hardly another toy, that can repeat her phenomenal rise.

P.S. Interesting, that Barbie has a fictional biography:

Full name: Barbara Millicent Roberts

Birth place: Willows city, Wisconsin state. In 90 the birth place was changed to New York.

Barbie has friends Midge, Christy and Teresa, and younger sisters Chelsea, Stacey and Skipper.

With her boyfriend Ken Carson, Barbie has been together for over 40 years. However, in 2004 the couple broke up, but in 2011 got back together. Mattel even put up real billboards about their reunion in major US cities.


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