Have you all gone to the movie "Barbie" yet? Barbie, which has become popular in recent days, has become a hot topic of word of mouth. Barbie is always in style. Look no further than the all-pink outfits filling red carpets, the countless social media posts with rosy themes, and the takeover of pink in street style. The fashion trend, which has been spotted on celebrities like Lizzo and Florence Pugh, as well as on runways like Valentino, who unveiled a collection of just hot pink designs last spring, has been dubbed “Barbiecore,” in an homage to the stylish doll, whose brand identity is undeniably feminine and very, very pink.
Barbie, an iconic fashion doll, has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people around the world for over six decades. Created by Ruth Handler in 1959, Barbie quickly became a cultural phenomenon and a symbol of empowerment for generations of children.
Ruth Handler is the creator of Barbie and the first president of Mattel Toys, which she co-founded with her husband, Elliot Handler. The couple started the company in 1949—and released the first Barbie doll in 1959.
According to PBS, Handler was the daughter of Polish-Jewish immigrants. She and her husband, Elliot, were high school sweethearts who later had two children together, named Barbara and Kenneth. Their children later became the inspiration for the iconic Barbie and Ken dolls.
How did Ruth Handler Create Barbie? Handler came up with the idea after watching her daughter and her friends play with paper dolls. In Handler’s memoir, Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story, she describes the pivotal moment. “I discovered something very important. They were using these dolls to project their dreams of their own futures as adult women,” she said. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could take that play pattern and three-dimensionalize it?”
Handler thought that creating a life-like doll would be helpful for children, but her idea was initially shut down. In Dream Doll, she recalls them saying, “Ruth, it won’t work.” The men claimed their skepticism was strictly business, but Handler had a hunch that they were concerned about Barbie’s figure.
A few years later, Handler and her family went to Switzerland for a vacation. During their trip, she spotted a doll that jolted her memory. In Dream Doll, she remembers thinking, “Here were the breasts, the small waist, the long, tapered legs I had enthusiastically described for the designers all those years ago.” Handler purchased the toy and brought it back to America, then presented it to her team. Soon after, the first Barbie prototype was made.
The first Barbie doll was well received and is credited as the first mass-produced toy in America. In its first year on the market, 300,000 Barbies were sold for $3 each.
Barbie made her debut at the New York Toy Fair in 1959, and her popularity soared. Clad in a stylish black-and-white swimsuit, Barbie represented a confident, independent woman with endless possibilities. In her early years, Barbie quickly became a cultural icon and a symbol of aspiration for young girls.
Over the years, Barbie's image has evolved to reflect changing beauty standards and societal expectations. With time, Barbie became more diverse and inclusive, representing a broader range of body types, skin tones, and hairstyles, promoting a message of acceptance and self-confidence.
Since 2015, Barbie has been on a mission to honor diverse role models, both modern-day and historical, who break boundaries in their fields to inspire the next generation of girls. Barbie is shining a light on female role models because every girl imagines she can be anything, but actually seeing that she can makes all the difference. With 81 percent* of moms globally worried about the type of role models their daughters are exposed to, Barbie is igniting a conversation around the importance of positive role models, underscoring that you can’t be what you can’t see. Barbie has honored women or “Sheroes,” including Ibtihaj Muhammad, Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Eva Chen, Ashley Graham, Laurie Hernandez, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. In addition to women breaking boundaries today, Barbie also has a historical line celebrating notable women throughout history. The Inspiring Women™ dolls pay tribute to incredible heroines like Amelia Earhart, Katherine Johnson (shown right) and Frida Kahlo. To date, Barbie has honored 50 role models and is committed to showing girls more role models by honoring a minimum of 10 each year.
Barbie has served as a style inspiration for celebrities for a long time — including Hailey Bieber's nostalgic Halloween costume in 2016 and Kacey Musgraves Moschino moment at the Met Gala in 2019 — but the doll has an even stronger influence on pop culture now. Since it has not only served as inspiration for great designers but is currently an object representing good dress and modern style.
Its motto for a long time was: “You can be what you want to be,” responding to its creator’s desire. For Barbie to inspire girls to push themselves to achieve their dreams and be what they want in life. Nowadays, although its popularity as a toy has diminished due to the arrival of other characters and options on the market, Barbie has changed its public and is becoming much more diversified. Since we can find the doll versioned in different skin colors and features, inspired by different cultures and professions, which have made her a doll for everyone.
Barbie's ability to adapt and evolve with changing times has allowed her to remain relevant in the face of competition.
Through the years, Barbie has established an emotional connection with people of all ages, leading to a lasting impact on their lives.
Collectors worldwide treasure rare and vintage Barbie dolls, with some dolls becoming valuable collectors' items over time.
In conclusion, Barbie is much more than just a fashion doll; she is a cultural icon and an inspiration to generations of children. From her inception, Barbie has promoted the values of empowerment, diversity, and inclusivity, encouraging young minds to dream without boundaries. As she continues to evolve in the digital age, Barbie's timeless legacy will undoubtedly inspire future generations to embrace their uniqueness and strive for greatness.