It all started in the 1950's when Ruth Handler saw her daughter, Barbara, and her friends playing on the floor with paper dolls. They enjoyed imagining the dolls being different people, who were working, swimming, playing with friends, being and doing grown up things. .
Ruth, who owned the company Mattel with her husband, understood that pretending how the future would be was part of growing up for kids. She did some research and found that there was room on the market for a doll like Barbie. Mattel had been making lots of toys before Barbie but when Ruth said that she wanted them to make a small doll for kids all the men in the staff had their doubts. Many different designs were done before the first Barbie was introduced on the 9th of March 1959. Barbie was named after Ruth's daughter, Barbara. Barbie was then a teen-age fashion model who was very different to the dolls the kids played with at that time. The buyers were at first skeptical to the doll but when Mattel started to make television commercials to reach out to the buyers, the commercials were an instant hit. .
Barbie is still the most popular fashion doll ever created. That is simply because she is always changing when the fashion trends change. She wears everything from the Paris fashions to the more youthful look. For example, the creator of Barbie made many "look alike" dolls to resemble famous people such as the Beatles and Jackie Kennedy. In the 1970's Barbie wore very different clothing just to be trendy. Barbie changed her skin color to a golden tan and she wore numerous different glittery disco outfits, her face was redone to look more life like, giving her an open mouth smile and bigger eyes.
Do you think the 80's stopped Barbie from changing? Oh no, this year she was everything from an aerobics instructor to a sophisticated working women. Mean Barbie had to join the working world, and make her some money.
Since Barbie was first introduced in 1959, she has had over 75 different jobs.