In 1959, Barbie was introduced to the world at the American Toy Fair in New York City. The doll was invented by Ruth Handler (the co-founder of Mattel), whose own daughter was named Barbara.
While Barbie first started as a “teenage fashion doll,” coming in either brunette or blond, she’s changed a lot since her introduction. Back in Barbie’s beginnings, her career options were extremely limited, a reflection of societal times. However, as the years have gone by, Barbie’s made big moves — as have the women she represents.
From stewardess, ballerina, and babysitter, Barbie’s since climbed to the top of the corporate ladder, flown to space, and even become president. And that’s not all! She’s become a fashion designer, race-car driver, rapper, photographer, paleontologist, UNICEF ambassador, paratrooper, and so much more.
And just as Barbie’s jobs prospects have evolved with the cultural climate, so has her skin color, body shape, and more. Last year, Mattel released Barbie in three new body types — tall, curvy, and petite — much to the delight of consumers.
So what’s next for the 58-year-old? The sky’s the limit!