Happy birthday, Barbie! Today we celebrate the iconic doll that children played with while growing up!
Although she still looks very young, today is Barbie’s 60th birthday! The doll is celebrated around the world by young children who play with Barbie and her friends and accessories! In honor of Barbie’s birthday, here are five things to know about the beloved doll.
1. Barbie was inspired by a German doll! Her birth date was March 9, 1959, and Ruth Handler, the former president of Mattel Inc., invented Barbie after inspiration struck from a German doll called Bild Lilli doll!
2. Barbie was named after the founder’s daughter. Ruth decided to coin her invention after her daughter, who gave her the very initial idea for the doll when young Barbara played with paper dolls, before Ruth had seen the German version. Ruth named the first design “Barbie,” after her daughter Barbara, and her male counterpart “Ken” after her son – the Ken doll was introduced in 1961.
3. While people who play with Barbies create their own stories with the doll, she has an actual fictional history, too! In books from the 1960s, Barbie was from Wisconsin, and she also has been dating Ken in most iterations of the doll. However, Barbie users can definitely have the doll “date” any doll that they choose.
4. The original white, blonde Barbie isn’t the only iteration of the doll! Mattel invented Christie, known as the first Black Barbie, in 1968. Almost 30 years later, in 1997, Mattel invented Share A Smile Becky, a disabled Barbie with a wheelchair. The first celebrity version of the doll was the 1967 Twiggy doll, who wore “Twiggy makeup” and a yellow, green, and blue-striped mini dress with accompanying yellow boots. In 2016, Mattel introduced new Barbies with a variety of body types, more so reflecting society after many complaints that the original’s body proportions were humanly unattainable.
5. Barbie is a career woman. The doll has been a flight attendant, soccer player, astronaut, politician, doctor, pilot, basketball player, chef, babysitter, and more. Mattel lists on its site that Barbie has had over 200 careers. But of course, people who play with Barbie can have her live out any career that they desire! Happy birthday, Barbie!