How many of you growing up had one, two, three or more Barbie’s growing up? I know I had many and I know I purchased many more for my daughter’s when they were younger!
Today I read the most interesting article about the creation and creator of The Barbie Doll! I hope you all enjoy a bit of the history of how Barbie became a household doll for so many of us!
A woman by the name of Ruth Handler, was the inventor of Barbie, she was a Jewish female trailblazer whose doll reflected her own life!
Ruth was the 10th child of Polish immigrants, whose family came to America to escape antisemitism and a few other things and landed Denver. Fast forward to 1938 and Ruth marries Elliot Handler and soon after has two children whom they name Barbara and Kenneth, whose names later inspired the names of the dolls she created! Turns out her real-life children ended up resenting!
In 1945 Ruth’s husband Elliot Handler and his business partner Howard Mattson combined their names to form Mattel; Ruth becomes the company’s President, and she’s the one who came up with Barbie! She didn’t like all of the baby dolls that she thought little girls could only be Mothers! She wanted to create a doll that was more grown up looking that older girls would like! That first year, Mattel sold 350,00 Barbies!
In 1962 Barbie was a working teen model, with a car and a home of her own. Ironically, most "Real Life" women could not have these things!
Shortly after that Barbie was also becoming a singer, nurse, fashion designer, college grad, executive and astronaut! At the time, girls wanted Barbie to have a boyfriend! There was a GI Joe and his line of “action figures”, that was it! In 1961, Ken debuted as Barbie’s boyfriend!
As the years moved forward, so did the Barbie and Ken Franchise. Sadly in 2002 Ruth Handler passed away at the age of 85, she left this world with people saying, “Ruth Handler, Whose Barbie Gave Dolls Curves, the invention as an icon of U.S. popular culture.
In 2016, Mattel launched new Barbies with four body types, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles, making the Barbies less skinny and white with tall, petite and curvy sizes and body types. This brand is still doing $1 billion in annual sales across 150 countries and 92% of American girls owned a Barbie, thanks to her affordable $3.00 - $10.00 price range!
It’s an amazing story of one woman’s vision and how she has changed the world! I hope you all get a chance to watch the new Barbie Movie coming out this Friday, July 21st.
At Suzy’s Swirl we will be celebrating Barbie too! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s happening! Better yet, just come into Suzy’s Swirl and check it out!
“Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices!”