“Come on Barbie! Let’s go party!” Sorry, Ken. Barbie’s too busy changing the world!
In the almost 60 years since Barbie made her debut at the 1959 American International Toy Fair in NY, she has been…well, for lack of a classier term, kicking butt and taking names. Sure, there have been a few missteps here and there, but not only has she been doing it with aplomb, she’s done it all in heels! Invented by Ruth Handler as an alternative to chubby cheeked baby dolls, Barbie has been beloved by generations of girls (and boys). A new age was truly dawning as Ruth witnessed her daughter projecting fantasies onto adult fashion paper dolls and shrewdly developed a doll to nurture those tendencies.
Barbie was an overnight star and a huge success with young girls. In fact, it would take years for production to keep up with demand. Hey, when you’ve got it, you’ve got it! Barbie gave girls the ability to pretend to be anything their little hearts desired, and she rolled with it.
“You can’t be what you can’t see”
Manufacturer Mattel went with the “you can’t be what you can’t see” philosophy and provided little girls everywhere with over 130 career options. Barbie is certainly a woman who knows what she wants — and takes it. Babs has been everything from an Olympic skier to entrepreneur, from cowgirl to news anchor, from producer to fashion designer. And let’s not forget her days as a rock star, NASCAR driver, and flight attendant.
Pushing the Ballot
Barbara Millicent Rogers (yeah, that’s her real name) has also evolved her look along with her occupation. Originally available in 1959 as a blonde or brunette, she’s since diversified her look along with her portfolio. During the height of the civil rights movement, Mattel introduced the first black Barbie. In 1992, before any female candidate had even made it to the ballot, Presidential Campaign Barbie was released. Barbie was making history before the real world could catch up! She’s always been a trendsetter and she isn’t stopping yet!
A Woman for Today’s World
Bab’s mature, slim-waisted figure has often been criticized, so Mattel decided it was time for a change (and we love it!). In response, our girl was resculpted into three “real woman” body types: tall, petite and curvy, in a range of skin tones, hair and eye colors. Barbie doesn’t just exist in the world, she participates and evolves with it. Bab’s iconic shape just got updated and became a lot more relatable for many people!
Can a toy change the world? Well, we’ll just leave this quote from the OG herself, Ruth Handler, drop the mic, and walk away: