Barbie - she's the doll that's been a staple of little girls' toy collections for over half a century. But did you know that the original Barbie doll's full name was Barbara Millicent Roberts, and she was named after the daughter of the creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler? Let's dive into the wild and wacky history of the world's most iconic doll!
The story of Barbie begins in the 1950s when Ruth and Elliot Handler founded the toy company Mattel. Ruth, who was a mother of two, noticed that her daughter Barbara often played with paper dolls and imagined them as grown-ups. This gave Ruth the idea to create a three-dimensional doll that would allow children to play out their dreams and aspirations.
And thus, Barbie was born. But why the name Barbara Millicent Roberts? Well, Ruth and Elliot decided to name the doll after their daughter Barbara, who was also the inspiration for the doll. Millicent was added to the name to give it a more sophisticated sound, and Roberts was the Handlers' family name.
But Barbie's journey from Barbara Millicent Roberts to the blonde bombshell we know today wasn't without its bumps in the road. When Barbie was first released in 1959, some people were outraged by her unrealistic body proportions and her focus on fashion and appearance. Critics accused Barbie of promoting unhealthy beauty standards and setting a bad example for young girls.
But Barbie persevered, and over the years, she evolved and changed to reflect the times. In the 1960s, she got a mod makeover with groovy clothes and accessories. In the 1970s, she embraced disco fever with platform shoes and bell-bottoms. And in the 1980s, she became a career woman, with jobs ranging from astronaut to business executive.
And let's not forget about the countless Barbie spin-offs and accessories that have been released over the years. From Barbie's Dream House to the Barbie Corvette to the endless selection of Barbie clothes and shoes, there's no shortage of ways to accessorize your favorite doll.
But perhaps the most iconic thing about Barbie is her catchphrase - "Math is hard!" Just kidding, it's actually "You can be anything!" Barbie has always been marketed as a doll that encourages girls to dream big and pursue their passions, whether that's becoming a doctor, a musician, or a fashion designer.
So there you have it - the wild and wacky history of the world's most iconic doll. From her humble beginnings as Barbara Millicent Roberts to her status as a cultural icon, Barbie has come a long way over the years. And who knows, maybe one day we'll see a new version of Barbie named after Ruth and Elliot's granddaughter. After all, with Barbie, anything is possible!