Barbie turns 60-years-old today, so Mattel celebrated by highlighting how far the iconic doll has come over the decades. Images from @Barbie Instagram

Barbie Turns 60: A look at the iconic doll through the decades

Mattel’s popular doll officially launched at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959

For a 60-year-old woman, Barbie has aged amazingly well.

Mattel’s arguably most popular toy and brand celebrated its 60th birthday Saturday. In honour of the milestone the company recently recapped some of the Barbie brand’s most iconic moments and looks.

Barbie was created by Ruth Handler “to show girls they had choices – they could be anything” according to the brand’s Instagram. The doll officially debuted on Mar. 9, 1959 at the New York Toy Fair in a black and white striped swimsuit and her signature ponytail.

Images from @Barbie Instagram

The 1960s were a big decade for Barbie, with the brand releasing her first careers – fashion designer, registered nurse and airline stewardess – first car, first dream house. The company also released its first celebrity-inspired doll – modeled after British fashion model Twiggy – and her first black doll friend, Christie.

Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, also made his debut during this era thanks to “hundreds of letters from little girls.”

Barbie embraced more careers and accessories in the 1970s, and received the iconic makeover as Malibu Barbie. The brand said that the doll had a “new face sculpt and eyes that faced forward – instead of glancing off to the side – for the first time.”

Images from @Barbie Instagram

READ MORE: Barbie announces Tessa Virtue doll as part of ‘Role Models’ series

The brand focused on embracing diversity in the 1980s, releasing the first black and Hispanic dolls named Barbie. The dolls of the world collection was also released during this decade and fans of the brand met for the first time at the Barbie Collector Convention.

The 80s were also a time for Barbie to embrace arts and culture, with Oscar de la Renta creating a line of designer clothes for the doll and Andy Warhol adding her to his list of painting American icons.

Images from @Barbie Instagram

In the 90s, Barbie went political and ran for President of the United States. But not to leave her fun-loving side behind, the brand also released their Totally Hair Barbie during this era, which featured the doll’s longest hair length yet.

The turn of the century brought flexibility to the doll, with the brand releasing Extreme 360 Degree Barbie with bendable limbs. They also expanded her reach with her first full-length feature film, first sign language inclusive doll and first New York runway show to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Images from @Barbie Instagram

Finally, this past decade Barbie has been embracing online culture by becoming an Instagram style influencer and YouTube vlogger. The brand also celebrated diversity in the 2010s by adding different body types to the Barbie line – curvy, petite and tall – and including more “skin tones, eye colours and hairstyles” for the Barbie Fashionistas.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Totem pole, first in 30 years, raised in Prince Rupert

The memorial pole was a two year project lead by local carver Lyle Campbell

Heart of our city – Fighting for the road to recovery

World champion kick-boxer wins at Trinity House recovery program

Tour recognizes Prince Rupert’s rich labour history

Epic story of the Battle of Kelly’s Cut put Rupert on the labour radar

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Funding to support early reclamation work at acid leaking B.C. mine

B.C. Government committing up to $1.575 million for Tulsequah Chief Mine site

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read