Barbie Turns 61
America’s most glamorous senior citizen is celebrating her 61st birthday. Barbie, the doll whose been a teen model, doctor, astronaut, and mermaid over the course of her more than 200 careers, is celebrating 61 years of being an influencer before influencers were even a thing.
She’s run for president more times than Joe Biden, a total of six. The doll was controversial at the time because of her grown-up figure and glamorous wardrobe in a time when little girls were expected to play with baby dolls to practice their mothering skills. Despite having a long-term relationship with Ken, Barbie has remained an independent, single woman with her own dream house, vehicles, and airplane.
She was introduced to the public at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9th, 1959.
Now, to encourage more little girls to not only play with Barbie but become toy designers themselves, Mattel has introduced a mentorship program named for Barbie’s creator, Ruth Handler.
The Ruth Handler Mentorship Program for Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment. The program offers mentorship, coaching, professional development, and learning opportunities for women in the toy industry and is the first of its kind in the industry.
“Mattel marks its 75th anniversary this year and the Ruth Handler Mentorship Program for WIT is a perfect way to carry on the legacy of our founder, commemorate our rich heritage and celebrate our commitment to supporting rising female leaders,” said Amy Thompson, Chief People Officer, Mattel.