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Barbie Doll: The evolution of Mattel’s iconic toy
By TARA SUADELA DABUNI · Daily Trojan
Posted March 11, 2012 ·
The debut of the old time favorite Barbie was unveiled in 1959 at the American International Toy Fair.
A confession most can’t make at first glance— but it is nearly impossible to ignore the darling Barbie doll.
Back in the mid-20th century when the doll was first designed, it took almost ten years to develop before it could hit store shelves across America.
Mattel Toy Company celebrated the Barbie doll’s 50th anniversary just three years ago, and has manufactured and produced the toy goods since its creation.
It was an instant success in an industry where the market for a three-dimensional-doll barely subsisted.
The Barbie Doll illustrated the ideal female body as a public image, and its place in advertising. Its marketing and modeling influence on fashion remains unparalleled to this day.
It was, also, the first women figure marketed towards the youngster generation.
The Barbie doll assumed the role of the ultimate “teenage fashion model” at its time.
Today, the difference between the body of a Barbie doll and that of a Hollywood star or a high fashion model may be minor.
Regardless of its controversial body-conventions, Barbie’s design must be respected.
Barbie is yet to skip a generational beat.
Here’s a taste of Barbie’s evolution.
The 50’s glam with a sassy pout while the 60’s brought blonde with shiny, long, straight hair and natural makeup. The 70’s Malibu babe had a glazed tan, and the first of the dolls to assume a bold forward stare as opposed to a shy, sideways glance. The 80’s Barbie was an MTV inspired Rock and Roll star with her band mates. The 90’s “totally hair” dolled-up-look was the top grossing make in history, selling nearly ten million in one year. The 2000 millennium featured her bellybutton with an athletic physique. Lastly, in 2004 in the light of the “pop theme of girl power,” Barbie broke up with Ken—a sad time for the doll and her hubby enthusiasts.