During the 1950s Ruth Handler, one of the owners of the Mattel Toy Company, noticed her daughter putting dresses on her paper dolls and got the idea for making a three-dimensional fashion doll that girls could dress and undress. Mattel introduced their new doll named Barbie at the 1959 American Toy Fair in New York City. The first Barbie came wearing a black and white striped bathing suit. Within the next few years, Mattel introduced Ken, Barbie’s boyfriend; Midge, her best friend, and Kelly, her little sister. Each had a variety of fashionable outfits.
- Barbie will be turning 60 this year.
- Blonde or brunette, slender or curvy, dark-skinned or white, princess or president the world-famous Barbie doll has advanced over the years. Also, the role plays of Barbie changed as women progressed into many new fields.
- Barbie though accepted worldwide also faced a lot of controversies. Some of the major were as follows:
- In 2010 a new version of Barbie doll was released which had a small camera fitted inside her chest disguised as a necklace that could record videos up to 30 minutes.
- The launch of “Totally Tattooed Barbie”, the version featured many tattoos however, it was her lower back tattoo that stirred up a controversy.
- Back in 1997, a cross-promotion of Barbie and Oreo cookies was done which featured Barbie in an Oreo cookie themed outfit both in black and white. This caused an outrage among the African-American community.
- The happy family set of Midge, Barbie’s best friend was shown pregnant but since the father figure was absent from the family, many parents out lashed the product saying that it promoted teenage pregnancy.
Despite many controversies, many women say that their experiences with Barbie filled them with motivation and inspiration to succeed in all aspects of their lives, including making friends and working toward rewarding careers. There is no doubt Ruth Handler and Mattel created one of the greatest role models ever for young girls. Sales alone tell the tale, as Barbie dolls remain the best money-making toy the industry has ever seen.