Barbara Millicent Roberts aka Barbie is quite possibly the most revolutionary women in history. Born under somewhat salacious conditions, Barbie has become the symbol of the modern women across the world. Bravely becoming a public figure that embraced her independence and sexuality, she broke every social convention. Rejecting the idea that women only could become wives and mothers, Barbie accomplished many different professions, including a pilot's license, and operates commercial airliners in addition to serving as a flight attendant, owning her own home, driving around without a man, and quickly became the ultimate style icon. Barbie's careers are designed to show that women can take on a variety of roles in life, all while being arguably the most beautiful women in the world. Here is the story of Barbie.
Born in March 9, 1959, Barbie is rumored to be a related to the scandalous German, Bild Lilli. Lilli was a blonde bombshell, and a working girl who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it. She was the muse of famed newspaper journalist Reinhard Beuthin, who wrote for the newspaper Die Bild-Zeitung. She inspired many columns, articles, and comics.
Barbie was born to Ruth Handler, who was married to Elliot Handler, a co-founder of the Mattel toy company, and engineer Jack Ryan. The fact that Barbie was born from an affair was shocking and uncommon in the 1950’s. The couple made their debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959. This date is also used as Barbie's official birthday.
In 1964, Ruth Handler and Jack Ryan ended their affair. Ruth returned to her stranded husband Elliot. Elliot adopted Barbie the same year. She began working for her Dad at the Mattel toy company. While there, she started working as a model, and made her first cover story as wearing a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail, shot as a "Teen-age Fashion Model.” Her clothes created by Mattel fashion designer Charlotte Johnson specifically for her.
Barbie was a success. She was so popular that the Mattel Toy Company created a toy after her. They named it Barbie, and made it to look just like her. The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, with their clothes hand-stitched by Japanese homeworkers. Around 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold during the first year of production.
Ruth Handler believed that it was important for Barbie to have an adult appearance. She encouraged Barbie to embrace her womanhood. She continued modeling, and was one of the first women to openly have plastic surgery. Barbie's appearance has been changed many times, most notably in 1971 when the eyes were adjusted to look forwards rather than having the demure sideways glance, and several breast augmentations.
Barbie hit superstardom. She used her star power to launch a range of products including: a range of dolls with their clothes and accessories, books, apparel, cosmetics and video games.
Barbie has become a cultural icon and has been given honors that are rare in the toy world. In 1974, a section of Times Square in New York City was renamed Barbie Boulevard for a week. In 1985, the artist Andy Warhol created a painting of Barbie.
Her personal live has been as equally adventurous as her professional one. She was always the center of attention and controversy. She finally met her match in 1961 in Ken Carson. Equally as successful and adventurous, their on-and-off relationship lasted until 2004, when she had a very public affair with famed Australian surfer Blaine Smith. The affair fizzled, and in 2006, Barbie and Ken rekindled their relationship. They are still together.
Although they have never been married, nor had any children, Barbie is an active animal rights activist. Over the years, Barbie has adopted over 40 pets including cats and dogs, horses, a panda, a lion cub, and a zebra
In 2009, Barbie celebrated her 50th birthday. The celebrations included a runway show in New York for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The event showcased fashions contributed by fifty well-known haute couturiers including Diane von Fürstenberg, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Bob Mackie, and Christian Louboutin. Barbie has been innovative and inspiring for over 50 years, and she has never looked be better. 16:53, October 29, 2012 (UTC)16:53, October 29, 2012 (UTC)16:53, October 29, 2012 (UTC)~Candace Crowhurst