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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

Happy Birthday, Barbie! What a doll!

On this day more than 50 years ago, an American icon was born. On March 9, 1959, Barbie Millicent Roberts made her grand entrance into society.

In 1954, Ruth and Elliot Handler founded Mattel. A few years later, Ruth created a three-dimensional, curvaceous doll named after her daughter Barbara. In 1959, Barbie Millicent Roberts debuted at the American Toy Fair in New York City and the rest, as they say, is history. At $3 each, more than 350,000 dolls were sold the first year. Barbie’s hunky significant other, Ken, was introduced in 1961 and was named after the Handler’s son.

Handler would create one of the best selling toys in history. Since Barbie’s debut, more than one billion dolls have been sold. Ruth Handler died in 2002. She was 85 years old.

Like most of us, the fashionista has gone through many changes over the years. Despite her different hair styles, various fashion statements, cool cars and awesome friends, she still remains modern yet classic. Babs has had over 125 different careers during her lifetime and somehow, still looks as young as ever! She’s been a registered nurse, surgeon, veterinarian, teacher, flight attendant, presidential candidate, rock star and even traveled to the moon! Not one to rest on her laurels, Barbie and her dreamy beau plan to travel the world in 2012.

While most of her transformations have been positive, the stylish jetsetter is not without controversy. Barbie’s Totally Stylin’ Tattoos, complete with 40 tattoo stickers and stamper application, raised a few eyebrows along the way. And some critics believe Barbie’s curvaceous figure may promote unrealistic expectations that could lead to low self-esteem or poor body image for impressionable young girls.

But regardless of her critics, little girls all over the world continue to love her and moms and grandma’s still collect her. Happy birthday, Barbie - you still look fabulous!


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