1. Barbie was born on March 9, 1959.
Barbie was first launched on March 9, 1959 in a black and white patterned swimsuit, blonde and her hair gathered in a ponytail! It also stood out as the first adult doll that didn’t look like a baby or child. The only thing Barbie didn’t have at first was a belly button; it was also added to the design in 2000.
2. Barbie was designed by an engineer who used to work for the Pentagon.
Jack Ryan began his career designing missiles for the Pentagon and later worked for the toy company Mattel for 20 years. Thanks to her designs, Barbie has bent joints and a swivel waist.
3. Barbie was inspired by an adult German doll.
Although Ryan designed the dolls, the concept belonged to Ruth Handler, president of the Mattel company. He was inspired to see that his daughter and her friend like to play with adult dolls rather than toddlers! Handler later described it in his autobiography:
My whole philosophy was that a little girl could be anything she wanted through a Barbie doll. Barbie has always represented that women have the right to choose.
4. Barbie’s name comes from Handler’s daughter!
The name Barbie was inspired by Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara Handler. Ken was also inspired by his son named Kenneth.
5. One of Barbie’s sisters is missing.
Barbie’s twin, Tutti, mysteriously disappeared from the market in 1971.
6. Barbie has sparked a lot of controversy in terms of beauty standards.
Barbie’s tall slender body has been criticized many times for her beauty standards. Changes for Barbie have been repeatedly asked for unrealistic standards of beauty. Mattel heeded these calls and launched the Barbie line for all body types and races.
7. In one of Barbie’s special series, ‘eating’ was written as a suggestion in the ‘weight loss book’.
Barbie’s history is quite dark in terms of promoting beauty standards: ‘How to lose weight’ in the ‘Slumber Party Barbie’ series released in 1965. Inside the booklet it said ‘Don’t eat’. There was also a scale in the set and it said 110 Pounds (49 Kg): Considering Barbie’s height is 175 cm, she is extremely thin for her height…
8. The original Barbie is very expensive nowadays.
The first Barbie (with extra accessories) sold for like $3. There is an original Barbie in very good condition selling for up to $25,000 at an auction these days. Of course, those that are not in very good condition can be sold for cheaper, but otherwise quite expensive.
9. Too many celebrities have their own Barbie.
Model and singer Twiggy was the celebrity whose first Barbie was made. Countless celebrities were later made into Barbie dolls: Audrey Hepburn, Gigi Hadid, Nicki Minaj, Elizabeth Taylor, etc.
10. Barbie’s first profession was “young model”.
Starting her career as a young model, Barbie has acquired numerous professions over the years: stewardess, ballerina, tennis player, actress, gymnastics instructor, etc.
11. While this was not the case for most women at the time, Barbie had her own house.
Barbie’s dream house first came out in 1962, and it’s not like most single women go out into their own home. The man’s signature was required on everything from deed transactions to credit cards.
12. In case you missed it, Barbie’s signature color is pink! 😅😇
There really is such a thing as ‘Barbie pink’! It’s not lame.