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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Happy Birthday Barbie

The first Barbie Doll was part of the American Toy Fair in New York City in 1959. So this doll, more than a doll, named Barbie is 57 years old.

Who would have dreamed that this 11 inch tall doll with waterfall blond hair and a name of Barbie would have been so popular. After falling in love with her Barbie became the first mass-produced doll with adult features.

Ruth Handler was the woman behind Barbie. Handler co-founded Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. Handler gained the idea of the adult like barbie doll after watching her own young daughter play with dolls. This doll would help young girls imagine the future.

A german comic strip character Lili was the inspiration of Barbie. Marketed originally as a racy gag gift to adult men in tobacco shops, the Lili doll was more loved by children. Mattel bought the rights to the doll and made their own version. Handler would name it after her daughter Barbara.

Advertising for Barbie was historical as well. The first commercials aimed at children on the Mickey Mouse club in 1955. The ad helped build the popularity of Barbie. Soon Barbie would have a boyfriend as well as a little sister Skipper.

Barbie has been applauded for having a number of different jobs, had several wardrobes of clothing, drove cars and had dream houses. Barbies appearance caused the most controversy as criticism from her tiny waist and and enormous breasts. Some estimate if she was a real woman her measurements would be 36-18-38 and believe that she fosters false hopes and unrealistic dreams about negative body image.

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