Happy 6oth Birthday, Barbie! Time flies… Today, every passing minute sees more than 100 dolls sold worldwide, with 58 million sold every year. The iconic plastic doll has been a surgeon, a pilot, a singer and a president. She has been in a wheelchair and has a prosthetic leg. She’s been the Duchess of Cambridge, several characters in «Mad Men» and every member of Destiny’s Child.
But on her debut at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959, she was just a doll in a swimsuit and ponytail, with white sunglasses in her hand.
First Barbie in 1959
Barbie’s success has remained as she continues to reflect culture and the world girls see around them.
Her evolution has been crucial, but never was easy. Created by Ruth Handler, who owned the toy company Mattel with her husband Elliot. She was inspired by the paper dolls her daughter Barbara played with, as well as a German doll named Bild Lilli.
Did you know that the inspiration for Barbie came from German BILD Zeitung? A doll called Lilli that was created in 1955.
Immediately, Barbie had a lot of success. She was an «adult», different to the baby dolls of the time. By 1960, Barbie was gainfully employed, as either a nurse, fashion editor, or flight attendant. The next year, she had a boyfriend, Ken, and the year after that, her first car and a pink dream house.
Lately, new additions to the «Barbie Fashionistas» line included a doll using a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic leg. For International Women’s Day 2018, Mattel released a new batch of dolls based «real-life role models» (for the previous post, click here please), among them aviator Amelia Earhart and artist Frida Kahlo.
This year, more than 20 new «Sheroes» will be immortalized as Barbies: among them, supermodel and activist Adwoa Aboah, and gymnast Dipa Karmakar, the first female Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.
Me dressed in the Moschino x Barbie collection (for the post, click here).
Margot Robbie will portray Barbie in upcoming movie about the child’s toy.
At 60 years old, Barbie stars in a Netflix series, «Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures,» and has almost 40 animated films to her name. In January, it was announced that Margot Robbie will play Barbie in a live-action movie. With 2 million followers on her instagram @barbiestyle, she’s one of of the big social media influencers and shares her outfits, and street-style shots.
I have been a Barbie fan since my early childhood and am proud of my pretty impressive collection. In my daughter’s old playroom, we still kept the Barbie corner. Happy Birthday, Barbie! Thanks to you, I feel sometimes like a little girl again…
Photos: Via Barbie and © Sandra Bauknecht