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

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Column: One parenting book certainly doesn’t fit all

Like the fingerprints they are born with – each child is different.… Continue reading

Influx of tourists helping to nurse Penticton’s economy back to health

The city has seen visitors multiply tenfold in recent weeks

Two vehicle crash on Highway 97 in Penticton

The crash happened before 3:30 p.m. in front of the Lakeside Inn and Suites

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read