Over the past six decades Barbie grew from a toy to an icon. It had its fair share of issues along the way, too.
People have criticized Barbie for setting an unrealistic beauty standard for girls. The shape of the doll aren’t exactly possible in real life. Although these critiques have subdued over the years, there are still people who aren’t happy.
Some claim that Barbie is/was placing too much focus on unrealistic glamour, fashion and so on. But Barbie has evolved quite a lot throughout the years.
In reality, Barbie was always meant to be a symbol. Barbie was created by Ruth Handler “to show girls they had choices – they could be anything”, says Mattel.
Even from the 60s Barbie started to have a lot of different professions and styles. Her boyfriend Ken was introduced in 1961 because a lot of girls sent letters to Mattel asking for a boyfriend for her. In 1962 she also got her first car and dreamhouse.
Already Mattel showed that girls can have a lot of choice and enjoy a good life. In 1965 Barbie further continued this with the first Barbie Astronaut doll. Barbie even “ran” for President in 1992. She was also a Pilot that year.
Over the decades Barbie has explored a lot more careers and styles. The dolls have evolved too, having a lot more detail, better articulation, more quality materials and so on. It also has a special Sheroes line of dolls, modeled after role models from the real world. So, Barbie has done quite a lot over the past 60 years and it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most famous and recognizable toys and brands in the world.