Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party!
New realities and endless possibilities. The dream life, dream job, dream house. Barbie’s dreamhouse. Even if you never had a Barbie doll, you probably know who she is. She has a 98% recognition rate (meaning only 2% of the world doesn’t recognize her) - that’s higher than the Queen of England. Barbie made her entrance March 9, 1959 in New York City and has been established as an icon ever since. How Barbie Helped to Change the World and Prove That She Is Not All About Looks / Bright Side
The beginnings of Barbie
Ruth Handler modeled the Barbie doll after the likes of a pre-existing doll named Lilli. Lilli was based on a character from a German comic strip and marketed as a racy gift for male adults. She was sold predominantly in tobacco shops. The rights to Lilli were purchased, she was slightly altered and rebranded as Barbie after Handler’s daughter, Barbara. Barbie became the first mass-produced children’s doll in the US that showcased an adult figure.
Barbie’s Influence: Inspiration and Controversy
Eventually, Ken was released and soon accompanied by additional Barbie dolls. Many saw Barbie providing an alternate standard to the traditional gender roles of the 1950’s. Her many outfits and accessories equipped her to be a flight attendant, doctor, astronaut, star athlete and even a U.S. presidential candidate. She drove huge sales, but not without her fair share of controversy.
The wide-open world of possibilities sparked hope in many, while others found Barbie’s endless supply of clothes and accessories, cars and “dream houses” to highly encourage materialism. However, Barbie’s appearance is what stirred up the most controversy. With her itty-bitty waist and large chest (if she were a real woman) her hip-to-chest- measurements would be 36-18-38. Some, understandably, felt this promoted a very unrealistic and harmful body image for little girls. Barbie Doll Makes Its Debut (history.com)
The Need For Inclusivity
In 1979, the first African-American Barbie was released and available for purchase by 1980. Now, Barbie dolls that reflect all body types, skin tones, and physical abilities are being manufactured and sold. Black Barbie 40th Anniversary | DOLLS magazine
By 1993 Barbie’s annual revenue topped 1 billion dollars, reaching 1.35 billion last year, and over 1 billion dolls in the Barbie family have now been sold world-wide. Barbie Doll Makes Its Debut (history.com)
Coming soon: Barbie Movie
The newest Barbie news has been sparking excitement in both Barbie fans and haters alike. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling will appear on the big screen as Barbie and Ken this Summer in Barbie. “To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken.”
You can catch them in theaters July 21, 2023. Margot Robbie reveals the change that made her say yes to the Barbie movie (msn.com)
Margot Robbie made it known she would not have stepped into the role of Barbie had she been the only face playing a version of the Mattel doll. In a new Time cover story, Robbie and the executive producer stressed the importance of Mattel providing a multiplicity of Barbies in the film. There are 175 different Barbie dolls to date with numerous physical differences, and they wanted to display that.
Barbie Trends: Fashion and Media
Although Barbie did not create fashion trends herself, by wearing popular clothes from a decade, or having a certain hairstyle, she reinforced current fashions. What Barbie wore influenced what children wanted to wear, and sometimes even adults. Makeup looks, especially a bright eyeshadow and bold lip, have now risen back up in popularity. Her most well-known accent: a pop of pink.
Instagram’s newest viral Barbie trend, the “Barbie Selfie Generator”.
- Go to the Barbie selfie generator and click “Start”
- Take a photo of yourself, or upload one
- Realign your photo using the arrow keys and the pink circle
- Edit the text below “This Barbie is” by choosing the pencil
- Change your selfie color by selecting the paint and your preferred color.
- When you are happy with it, select “Continue” and “Download” to save
Now hashtag #thisbarbieis and post your tagline to join in on this fun and empowering trend!