The dolls landed on toy store shelves in 1959 and became an image of the ideal role model for all young girls. She was thin, had a perfect boyfriend, family, house, and luscious locks1 – who wouldn’t want to be like her?

The Barbie doll was invented in 1959 by Ruth Handler, a co-founder of Mattel, whose own daughter was called Barbara. Barbie’s birthday falls on March 9. Her first career was a teenage fashion model. Today she is 62 years old, and at this age, she is still a teenage fashion doll.
Her hair was either brunette or blond; later red hair was added. In 1980, the first African American and Hispanic Barbies were introduced. Barbie also has a black friend named Christie, who was introduced in 1969.
The first Barbie was sold for $3. In the first year, 300,000 Barbie dolls were sold. Over 70 fashion designers have made clothes for Mattel, using over 105 million yards of fabric2.
Imagine if Barbie were a real woman. According to doctors, her measurements would force her to walk on all fours, and she would be physically incapable of lifting her over-sized Mattel head. She could be nicknamed the “impossible woman” with her unrealistic physical proportions, which would make her look like she’s straight off a spaceship. She would be over 180 cm and weigh 45 kilograms. With a waist smaller than her head, Barbie has room only for half a liver3 and a few centimeters of intestines4. Her legs are 50% longer (and much thinner) than her arms, while the average woman’s legs are only 20% longer.

FUN FACTS
• The Barbie doll is currently marketed in more than 150 nations around the world.
• Placed head to toe, Barbie dolls and family members sold since 1959 would circle the earth more than seven times.
• Every second, two Barbie dolls are sold somewhere around the world.
• The Barbie doll was introduced in Europe in 1961.
• In 1965, Barbie first had bendable legs and eyes that open and shut; in 1967, a Twist ‘N Turn Barbie was released that had a moveable body that twisted at the waist.
• The Barbie doll has had more than 80 careers; she has been everything from a rock star to a presidential candidate. The Barbie doll has represented 45 dif ferent nationalities.

Janka Něničková

Vocabulary: 1 zvodné kadere – svůdné kadeře; 2 látka, tkanina; 3 pečeň – játra; 4 črevo – střevo