Barbie the Queen of Dolls

By: k_buchanan32
It all started when Ruth Handler noticed her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls and imagining them in grown up roles. At the time, the dolls in the market were all baby dolls and the need for a doll role-model that would inspire little girls to think how they wanted to be when they grew up emerged. Ruth Handler took her idea to the executives at the Mattel Company who at the beginning refused to produce this female adult doll thinking that it would be a very expensive product with little market appeal. After a trip to Europe and a model doll ready to its wardrobe, Mattel Company decided to debuted Barbie in 1959.

Since then, the Barbie Doll's popularity has increased and today, with over one billion of her lookalikes sold, the product line is one of the most successful in the history of the toy industry and, arguably, the icon of female beauty and the American dream. According to Mattel, every two Barbies are sold every second worldwide.

But although Barbie has been said to touch every girl's life, there continues to be disagreement over the messages the Barbie doll sends and the toy's place in the lives of young girls. The extensive literature about Barbie dolls tends to be opinionated and based on essays and popular media articles. Critics of the doll claim that Barbie represents the paradigm of adult female beauty to which young girls learn to aspire. Argued that Barbie reflects a highly sexualized image and circumscribe girls' play by emphasizing prescribed roles and patterns of interaction, the Barbie's immature admirers are lead to consider Barbie the epitome of female beauty and the ideal icon.

During the last forty-seven years, Barbie has had a number of careers, thousand of outfits, a host of friends, vehicles, one "loyal" boyfriend, a pool, a number of houses and a variety of hairstyles. Despite the prevailing opinions that abound about the influence of Barbie dolls on girls' development, the fact remains that Barbie changed the way little girls looked at dolls forever. Surveys have suggested that Barbie dolls are among girls' first or second "most favorite toys" between ages eight and twelve.

Today, Barbie Millicent Roberts, famously known as Barbie, has come a long way from that fashion doll who debuted in 1959. She has sisters, a boyfriend, has had more than 80 careers and represents nearly 100 different nationalities. However, collectors prize the original Barbie and her 50s wardrobe above all else. Barbie and her clothing are one of the most popular collectibles in the world today, and a mint-condition original Barbie can sell as high as $10,000. Isn't time you checked the attic or the basement for your old Barbie treasures? They could be more valuable than you think, and even if they are not, they will bring back lots of memories!
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