Barbie has recently had her 40th birthday.
It all started in the 1950s when Ruth Handler saw her daughter, Barbara, and her friends playing with paper dolls. They liked to imagin the dolls beeing different persons who were working, swiming, playing with friends etc.
Ruth, who owned the company Mattel with her husband, understood that pretending how the future would be was part of growing up for kids. She did some research and found that there was room on the market for a doll like Barbie. Mattel had been making lots of toys before Barbie but when Ruth said that she wanted them to make a small doll for kids all the men in the staff had their doubts. Many different designs were done before the first Barbie was introduced on the 9th of march 1959. Barbie was named after Ruths daughter. Barbie was then a teen-age fashion model who was very different to the dolls the kids played with at that time. The buyers were at first skeptical to the doll but when Mattel started to make tv-commercials to reach out to the buyers it was an instant hit.
Barbie is still the most popular fashion doll ever created. That is because she is always changing when the fashion and trends change. She wears everything from the Paris fashion to the more youthful look. For example the creaters changed her when the Beatles were popular and they made a copy of Jackie Kennedy when she was popular.
In the 1970s Barbie wore very different clothes just to be trendy. She for example wore glittery disco outfits and got a suntan. Her face was redone. She now got an open-mouth smile.
In the 1980s Barbie kept changing. This year she was everything from an aerobics instructor to a sophisticated working women.
And now in the 1990s Barbie has had 75 careers since 1959.
Barbie has given lots of kids better self-esteem by showing them that you can be what you want. Barbie has been a surgeon, a president candidate, an aeroplane pilot and a dentist etc. The kids nearly have her as a rolemodel. They think if she can do it, so can they! Barbie is actually many kids best friend.
Barbie was later given family and friends. Her boyfriend was Ken who was named after Ruth's son. She also had a little sister whose name was Skipper and her friends were from all over the world. Her group of friends keep growing.
Barbie isn't only liked by kids. There are today thousands of adult collectors. They don't always play with them. They just collect them. But it isn't only women who collect, men do too. There are clubs, magazines etc for adults who love Barbie.
Now that everything has a lot to do with the new technology, such as computers, Barbie is going high tech too. There are programs and discs to buy to the computer where Barbie is the main character. It is also a way to guide the kids in the high tech world that they live in.
So Barbie isn't just anyone she is the most famous doll of all times.
Here is some useless information about Barbie:
Barbies full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. She is from Willows in Wisconsin and went to Willows High School.
Right now about 120 new dresses and clothes are designed every year and
more than 105 million yards of fabric has been used to create them.
After stamp collecting Barbie collecting is the most popular hobby in America.
The best selling Barbie was the totally hair Barbie which I have here.
Barbie has more than one billion pairs of shoes and she has totally had 500 makeovers.
Barbie is now sold in more than 140 countries around the world.