There are very few girls around the world that can say they have never owned a Barbie and even fewer that can claim to have never heard of Barbie. Barbie has become a worldwide icon when it comes to girl’s toys and accessories. You can own every type of Barbie imaginable and just when you think you have them all Barbie comes out as something else. But when did Barbie first arrive in our stores and how often has Barbie been re-invented since her first debut? Read on to find out.
When was Barbie Invented?
As most people know, Barbie was first invented in 1959 by a lady called Ruth Handler. Ruth Handler had a young daughter named Barbara who enjoyed playing with paper dolls, so Ruth invented a plastic doll modeled as a young woman and named it after her little girl. The first Barbie had an impossible figure with a tiny waist and feet and oversized breasts and hips. When Barbie was invented she was marketed as a fashion doll for teenage girls and was successful from the start as no other dolls of her type were available.
How has Barbie been re-invented?
As time wore on the need to change Barbie became evident as much criticism was leveled at the toy by concerned parents and health agencies. Many believed that Barbie set a dangerous body image for young girls. As such in 1997 Barbie’s body was redesigned to include a wider waist. Another re-invention of Barbie occurred even earlier than this is 1968 when Mattel manufactured an African American version of Barbie named “Christie.” Barbie will continue to be re-invented to meet the current social fashions and markets as can be seen by one of her latest re-inventions in 2009 titled “Totally Tattoos Barbie” in which Barbie is sporting a lower back tattoo declaring her love for Ken.
All in all it is difficult to actually count the number of times that Barbie has been re-invented. But one thing that can be counted on is that she will continue to be re-invented many more times and in ways beyond our wildest imaginations before the world sees the end of Barbie.