Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Barbie.

Barbara Millicent Roberts debuted at the American Toy Fair in New York on this day in 1959. Her creator, Ruth Handler, guided her production into toy history. Millions of Barbie dolls have been sold and she continues her prominence in spite of ambitious competitors in the fashion doll arena.

Barbie has changed tremendously since her inception. Well, her inception, which is down played, is actually the Bild Lilli doll that Handler brought over to the States from Germany.

The original ponytail Barbie in that black-and-white striped swimsuit has transformed to represent different ethnicities, different countries and had many different careers. Barbie has even run for President of the United States.

Barbie has accomplished a lot in her 50 short years on the planet. As her legend continues, it’s crucial that little girls understand that Barbie’s message is more about her accomplishments --- teacher, astronaut, CEO, physician, businesswoman, paleontologist, Marine, veterinarian, prima ballerina, etc. --- than her measurements.

She’s also represented countries around the world and has even promoted learning sign language and understanding people who are wheelchair-bound before it was politically correct.

Barbie’s first fifty years have been awesome; wonder what’s in store for her next fifty years?

Happy Birthday, Barbie!