The History Of The Barbie Doll Essay

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The History Of The Barbie Doll Essay, Research Paper The History of Barbie Doll The idea of Barbie all started in 1959 when Ruth Handler, Barbie s creator, noticed her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls and imagining them in grown up roles such as college students, cheerleaders, and adults with careers. Ruth realized that dolls on the market at that time were all baby dolls, and that there was a need for a doll that would inspire little girls to think about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Thus the idea for the Barbie doll, the teenage fashion model, was born. Ruth named the doll Barbie, after her daughter and now, 40 years later, this 1.9 billion-dollar-a-year industry is stronger then ever. The Barbie doll started being released in early 1960. It first

appeared in the now-famous black and white striped swimsuit and signature ponytail. After producing this doll and one other know as Roman Holiday, she began to be made with lighter blue eyes and a new type of vinyl that retains its flesh-tone color rather than whitening with age. One year after her introduction, number five was released. She was made with different hair colors, one of which was a shade of red known as titian, and with a new Bubble Cut hairstyle popularized by Jacqueline Kennedy. Enchanted Evening, a lovely pink stain gown, also debuted this year. This fashion was a collector s favorite and was reproduced in 1996. Ken, Barbie s boyfriend was introduced this year with short blonde or brown hair, blue eyes, and moveable head, arms, and legs. He was also a + inch

taller then Barbie. Ken was named after Ruth s son, Kenny. Barbie doll was now the hottest selling fashion doll on the market at this time. In 1962, Barbie doll was still being made with a ponytail, but the Bubble Cut was much more popular and was produced in much greater numbers. Red was her color this year and Red Flare, a bright red coat, hat, and handbag ensemble made a bold fashion statement. Garden Party and Tennis Anyone were two of Barbie doll s other fashions that year. Also that year, the fuzzy-haired Ken doll was retired in favor of a new doll with the painted brown or blonde hair. In the next two years of Barbie s life a lot happened. In 1963, she came out as Fashion Queen Barbie, with 3 interchangeable wigs: platinum Bubble Cut, a brunette Pageboy, and a titian

side-swept ponytail called a Swirl. This was also the year that Barbie got her first and best friend, Midge. This freckled doll was a favorite for many collectors. In 1964, Barbie doll appeared in a pink swimsuit with eyes that open and close. This was the only Barbie doll to have eyes that shut. Barbie doll’s family also began to grow that year with the introduction of Skipper, Barbie doll’s little sister. By the end of the decade Barbie had changed even more. Her and her friends were given more bendable legs. Her new hairstyle was known as American Girl . 1967 gave her a more youthful face and long straight hair to keep up with the changing times. A talking Barbie was finally introduced in 1968. This was a long time dream of Ruth s husband, Elliot. By the beginning of 1970

Barbie s fashion trends were up-to-the-minute. She had designs reflecting the prairie look, the granny dress, the California girl suntan craze, and glittery disco styles. Barbie turned sweet 16 in 1974 and a portion of Times Square was renamed Barbie Boulevard for a week in her honor. In 1976, Barbie doll s face was again reshaped into a wider smile and sun-streaked hair reflecting the latest beauty looks. Also in 1976 Barbie dolls were placed in time capsules and sealed during the Bicentennial celebrations to be opened in 2076 as the favorite doll of this century. Barbie was featured in Life Magazine in 1979 as reflecting twenty years of American fashion. During the 70s, Barbie doll had a constantly changing wardrobe that swung from the mod look of Live Action Barbie, a wild