Dolls are not losing their popularity.
This March, Barbie celebrates 60 years – from the moment the first doll was created and presented at the world toy fair in new York. During this time, Barbie has tried dozens of different professions, hundreds of images and countless clothes. In addition, Barbie has experienced several scandals, the courts – but even now, every minute in the world buy more than 100 dolls, and the year – more than 58 million. This popularity can be safely envy.
The first Barbie doll released Ruth and Elliot Handlers in 1959. The doll they named in honor of his daughter Barbara. When later came the boy doll, named after her son Kenneth. The idea belonged to Ruth, and at first this idea my husband and his business partner were skeptical.
Ruth and Elliot Handler posing for LIFE magazine, 1968.
Barbara, in whose honor the name of the doll, poses with his father, Elliot Handler,.
The fact that at that time the vast majority of dolls for children was a dolls or dolls in the form of comely girls and boys. They were supposed to babysit and play with them “in house”. Dolls representing adults with whom you could play “adulthood” in the market for no children. However, Ruth noticed that her own ten year old daughter was playing with her friends, preferring the cardboard dolls dolls – those that portrayed the adult models that you could draw beautiful dresses that went to work, shopped, rested in the restaurant and went to each other’s homes.
Barbie as the Princess.
“I loved being a mom, but at the time I just had to stay home, and I hated it – says Ruth. – It was necessary to be able to cook and clean the house, and all that shit.” So despite the fact that her husband and his business partner disapproves of the idea to create a doll “with Breasts and everything” Ruth insisted. “Girls Barbie was a kind of protest, says writer Peggy Orenstein. – There were no more games in “mom with three ungrateful children.” Barbie could choose a profession, to live a normal social life and did not look like a child, but as a grown woman, which girls would like to become.
Little Barbara Handler plays with a Barbie doll.
Trial puppet was the pin-up doll Lilli, created in the image of the heroine of comic books for adults. Her image was appropriate – rather frivolous outfits and comical expression. Then I decided to rework the image of the doll – together with engineer Jack Ryan, the Mattel company, which is owned by her husband, she created the doll that we all know as Barbie. Ruth wanted her new doll was flexible so she had fingers on his hands and legs to the doll was a nice touch and should be easy to wear clothing.
Doll Lilly, who became the prototype of Barbie.
The is Lilly and Barbie.
It is this doll the company brought to the American international toy fair in 1959. Then Barbie was in two versions – a blonde and a brunette, but in any case it was sold in a swimsuit, and the clothes had to buy her for some money.
Barbie and Ken wardrobe, 1964.
A small company, which at that time was Mattel, but Barbie in her first year of issue received 351 000 dollars (about three million dollars today). But by 1968, the company has already received $ 500 million, at the exchange rate today is 3.5 billion.
Barbie doll today.
It’s funny that the name of the company Mattel consists of two parts, paying tribute to the names of its two founders – Harold Matheson and Elliot handler, although in fact it was Ruth brought the company a real profit and the innovative idea of creating dolls. “We tried to squeeze the name Ruth in the title, but somehow it did not squeezed,” said Elliot in a documentary 2018 about his at this point ex-wife.
The classic look of Barbie doll.
Barbie in a wheelchair.
It is also interesting that the first doll was marketed as a doll for Teens, but it had quite formed adult figure and frankly “heavy” makeup. Because of this discrepancy, the barb appeared first opponents, and the company began to alter the design of the doll. So began to appear Barbie in images of different professions – fashion designer, ballerina, nurse, singer, and even President of the United States, as well as a variety of related Barbie friends and relatives – boyfriend Ken friend Midge, sister of skipper.
The first version of the Barbie doll in 1959.
Even though she is Ruth focused on what adult the image of a Barbie, in fact, makes it so popular and welcome for girls. “The idea was that a little girl could dream about to grow up, and all grown women, which girls see have Breasts,” retorted Ruth on the claim that the Barbie doll looks “too adult”.
Barbie in furs.
Sale of dolls were going so well that there were even collectors of Barbie dolls. And this is why in the 1980s began to produce designer collection dolls – they are slightly different in design from those produced by mass production, and their clothes, create famous designers.
From the very beginning of its existence, the Barbie doll was accused in the formation of distorted gender stereotypes in children: and the legs of the dolls are too long and waist too narrow, and the blonde she’s too bright (though actually the first black Barbie appeared in 1967). And most importantly – this is too Barbie thin. In Helsinki even had calculated that if Barbie a real person, she would never be able to give birth, her body is simply no room for the reproductive system. So in 1997, Mattel again changed the design of the doll by reducing her breast and increasing the waist.
The difference between waist Barbie before and after redesign.
In recent years, these claims have become even more active, and 4 years ago there was a radically new types of dolls – petite, curvy and tall Barbie. And just a year later, America came and Barbie in a hijab, whose prototype was the fencer Ebtihag Muhammad.
New types of Barbie dolls.
Actually Muslim countries have long Mattel sells analogues of Barbie (Barbie doll banned in almost all Muslim countries). So, for these countries, Mattel releases dolls under the name Jamil, Razanne and fulla, who have a more realistic shape and promote Muslim values. In set of clothes of these dolls must include the hijab or even the burka, and their appearance is more similar to the traits of the local girls.
Some girls want to look like a Barbie doll.
Nevertheless, criticism in the direction of the Barbie doll continues. Moreover, in recent times, there are a lot of people trying to conform to this fictitious image – as dolls Ken and Barbie.