A name that almost every single person knows.
On this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll went on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. For 57 years, she has ruled the world.
The women behind Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founding Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. Barbie's appearance was modeled after a doll named Lilli, based on a German comic strip character. Lilli was a gag gift to adult men but eventually became very popular with children. After buying the rights to Lilli, Ruth made her own version whom she named her after her daughter, Barbara, after watching her ignore the baby dolls she bought her to play with and instead play with the paper dolls of adult women. She saw the importance of allowing little girls to imagine a future.
Fun facts about Barbie:
*She stands 11.5 inches tall.
*Her original outfit was a black and white striped swimsuit and her first hairstyle was a pony tail. She was first sold for $3.
*Mickey Mouse Club was the first TV program to show a Barbie commercial.
*In 1961, Ken makes his debut. Ruth named him after her son. In 1963, Midge came out (B's best friend) and in 1964, Skipper (B's little sister) debuted.
*Barbie's real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
*Barbie has had multiple careers, around 180 of them, from airline stewardess, doctor, astronaut to even a U.S. presidential candidate.
*Barbie was born in a fictional town called Willows, Wisconsin.
*Her first pet was a horse named Dancer and her signature color is Barbie Pink (which happens to be my very favorite color).
*Saudi Arabia has banned Barbie due to the revealing clothes and shameful postures.
*The most popular Barbie ever sold was Totally Hair Barbie.
*A lot of people think Barbie is unrealistic. If she was a real women, she would measure 36-18-38, stand at 5'7" and weigh 110lbs, which a lot of people believe sets a bad image to little girls.
*By Barbie's 50th birthday in 2009, over 1 billion copies of her had been sold and every 3 seconds, a Barbie doll is sold somewhere around the world.
*As of 2015, Barbie can totally rock flats shoes! Mattel made some adjustments to her ankles, allowing her to be able to wear flats and her trademark sky-high stilettos.
*And as of very recently, the new Barbie Fashionistas doll line includes 4 body types, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and numerous fashions and accessories.
Happy Birthday Barbie! You sure have come a long way in 57 years. Thank you for allowing me to imagine a life larger than myself!