The history of the Barbie doll

Essay by kricketHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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Barbie is an idol to many young girls, but has also led many young girls to become bulimic or anorexic to look like her. The first Barbie originated with the German doll, Lilli, in 1955 and the first Barbie was made in 1959. Barbie was named after the founder of Mattel's toy company daughter Barbara. Mattel started Barbie's of the world because they didn't want any young girl from another countrys feel the need to be like an American. So Mattel started making German, French, and Japanese Barbie's with the indiviual cultures clothing. I would like to learn whom the first Barbie was made after and if they will ever stop making Barbie. I also would like to learn more history about Barbie.

In 1955, across the world in Hamburg, Germany, an artist was at work creating a character that would have a great influence on children, from this

formed the Barbie doll (Dembner).

Reinhard Beuthhier had created a character, named Lilli, for the Bird Zeitung, a newspaper. Her character was portrayed as a ditz, gold-digger, and an exhibitionist. Most of the time she had a minimal amount of clothes on and was a symbol of sex and pornography for men of Germany (Riddick).

Ruth Handler, the wife of the founder of Mattel, wanted to make a new doll that looked like Lilli, but that would appeal to young girls (Dembner). This new creation was modified to look less like a prostitute. Her body was made from soft vinyl and her face was given a softer look (Dembner). The wardrobe of this Barbie doll also began to form with the help of many fashion designers. Many of Barbie's styles at this time were motherly and homemaker influenced fashions (Deutsch,10). Barbie's first wardrobe included bridal gown, tennis dress, ballerina...