Barbie doll and her Popularity in a Nutshell
Raise up your hand if you were one the millions of girls who succumbed to the fascination that is the Barbie doll. What Barbie doll was your favorite? Was it the swimsuit Barbie, or the waitress Barbie or the pilot Barbie? Did you also have the Barbie Dreamhouse? or maybe the pink convertible? We bet that some of the best hours of your childhood were spent playing with your pals or siblings and a bunch of Barbie dolls.
More than 90% of American women grew up with Barbies and, as of today, Barbie is ranked at 99% worldwide in regards to brand awareness. It's available in 158 countries and 58 million Barbie dolls are purchased every year. That's pretty impressive, right? Barbie turned 60 in 2019 and she's still the number one fashion doll in the US. She made her first appearance at the New York Toy Fair in March of 1959 and it was kind of an experiment created by Ruth Handler. She, her husband, Elliot Handler and his friend Harold Matson, founded Mattel in 1944.
Here are some facts about the most famous doll ever created.
Barbie was inspired by paper dolls and modeled after a German doll
Ruth (Barbie's creator) wanted to make a grown-up and three-dimensional doll for her daughter. Barbara (her daughter) and her friends loved to play with paper dolls that they sniped form women's magazines. They loved to dress them and pretend these paper dolls were students or cheerleaders or career women. This sparked an idea in Ruth and the concept of Barbie was created, a miniature woman made from plastic, it would come with clothes that the girls could swap out and, like a grown woman, the doll would have breasts.
The physical appearance of Barbie was inspired by a German doll named Bild Lilli, a doll sold at bars and tobacco shops that men received as a gag gift in bachelor parties. Ruth was entranced by the doll and decided to make it her model for Barbie with a few edits.
By 1960 Barbie was gainly employed
To support and to inspire women in the early '60s, Barbie was released as a career woman. She was a nurse, a fashion editor, a flight attendant, and an executive career girl. In that same decade, Babie got herself a boyfriend. Her creators received a lot of letters from little girls asking for a boyfriend for Barbie and that's how Ken made its appearance in March 1961.
A year after Ken, Barbie got her first car, an Austin-Healey 300, it was a peach two-seater convertible that made girls dream about what their life could be. She also got her first DreamHouse where she could relax with style, with that she became a symbol of independence and empowerment.
The first black doll, Christie was introduce in 1968
One of the first black dolls introduced to the market, in support of Equal Rights, was Christie. She was created as a friend of Barbie and dress in a swimsuit with '60s hairdo. They waited 12 years to release other diverse Barbie dolls, like the black and Hispanic ones
Malibu Barbie showed a new face design
In 1971 Malibu Barbie made its debut and she came with a new face sculpt and eyes that faced forward, instead of glancing to the side. She was the quintessential Californian girl.
Barbie had careers real women hadn't been able to have
Source: Marcin Wichary/Flickr
She was way ahead on the job department, Barbie was an astronaut two decades before Sally Ride. She also became a surgeon, this was about 1973 when only 9% of women were doctors; she even ran for President (at least five times). She was a very fashionable pilot (1989) when few women were in the pilot seat. She was a CEO, she also served her county as Army Officer Barbie.
Totally Hair Barbie was the best selling doll of all times
She was a doll of the '90s and was released to celebrate loud fashions and crazy hair of the time. There was a re-release of Hair Barbie in 2017 for her 25th anniversary.
In 2016 a whole new crowd of Barbie dolls were introduced
In the spirit of being more inclusive, and due to a drop in sales in 2012, Mattel decided to release Barbie dolls with new skin tones and hair textures, new body types (petite, curvy, tall). The Barbie collection now has a wheelchair Barbie, one with a prosthetic limb. There's a Barbie with a smaller bust, less defined waist and more defined arms.
There are some women that have become obsessed with Barbie's portrayed image so they have undergone all kinds of plastic surgery, diets, and tricks to achieve the look. Some changes are really extreme. Here are 5 women that look like a Barbie doll.
1. Valeria Lukyanova
Valeria Lukyanova hails from Tiraspol, Moldova (in Europe). she moved to Odesa, Ukraine when she was 16. She became a sensation on Youtube when she posted self-shot home videos of her appearance. She was already very popular in Rusia because she won the Miss Diamond Crown of the World (a beauty pageant with no forboding rule about plastic surgery or body modification), she did a lot of photo sessions and interviews. Her improbable looks, (big eyes, plasticky skin, head quizzically cocked to the side, the wasp waist), is what dub her the moniker of Barbie Doll. She claims that to achieve that doll-like look she just had a breast augmentation, that she hasn't had any other body modification. She just has a very strict diet and exercises a lot.
Source: @valeria_lukyanova21 (Instagram Screenshot)
Valeria says actually is not a fan of Barbie, she calls herself Amature, (a name that came to her on a dream) and most of her Amateur videos on Youtube are some kinds of transcendental self-help lectures. She's a model, a composer, and an opera singer. She's married to a construction mogul in Russia named Dmitry who helped her get her "Barbification" complete.
2. Rachel Evans
Rachel Evans is UK's number one Barbie look-alike, the mainstream media dubbed her "the human Barbie" and that's how she became famous. Being a Barbie look-alike is her profession and she can be booked for events. Her cosmetic journey to achieve her Barbie doll look has been well documented in every country and language. She has spent over 20,000 pounds in surgeries to become a human Barbie doll.
She is now 47 and a single mom, and she says that she turned to plastic surgery after suffering from depression.when she was 30 (and she has no plans to stop). Her plastic surgery includes breast augmentation from 32AA to a 32D, a nose job, lip filler, Botox, cheek augmentation, eye lift, and jaw tightening. She runs eight miles daily and, hits the gym five days a week and her diet consists of chicken, rice and tuna. All that to maintain her Barbie's tiny figure.
3. Pixee Fox
Source: @pixeefox (Instagram Screenshot)
Pixee Fox is another plastic surgery obsessed Barbie doll look-alike. She has undergone 200 surgeries, one of those surgeries included the removal of six ribs so she could achieve her look. In her quest to look like a Barbie doll, Pixxe has spent 500,000 pounds, she started in 2011 when she flew to India to have her eye color changed in a very dangerous operation. To achieve her jaw look she went to Korea. Her breast augmentation has been also extreme, she is now 30J and her behind and lips are pumped with fat from her legs and belly.
She has also altered her nose and ears and her waist is 16 inches, she wants to beat the world record for the tiniest waist. She speaks proudly about her surgeries and is part of The Plastics of Hollywood talent agency. She lives in North Carolina.
4. Andrea Ivanova
Source: @amdrea.andrea345 (Instagram Screenshot)
She dubs herself a Barbie girl, Ivanova hails from Bulgaria, she's 22 years old and is willing to do anything to achieve her Barbie doll look. She has admitted to having over 15 procedures in over a year, her goal is to have the biggest lips and for that, she's willing to risk it all. She has spent over $2500 on lip fillers. At least once a month she goes to the doctor to inject her lips with hyaluronic acid and that's how she achieves her "pout".
Ivanova completes her look by applying great quantities of heavy makeup, she dyed her hair to a platinum blonde. she draws very dark eyebrows, and she has had surgeries to enhance her breasts. She has said in some interviews that men have offered her money in exchange for sex, but that she has refused because that's not what she wants. She just wants bigger and fuller lips (the bigger the better). Ivanova is very happy with her appearance even though she has received a lot of abuse online.
5. Amanda Ahola
Source: @a.ahola_official (Instagram Screenshot)
Amanda Ahola is a 22-year-old Finnish woman who has claimed that surgery is better than sex. Her obsession with becoming a real-life sex doll has almost got her killed. She started with her plastic surgery journey when she was 18 since then she has had 3 surgeries for breast augmentation. She has also had Botox, a nose job and dozens of other procedures.
She became news when she appeared on E!'s reality show Botched saying that she was willing to risk her life for more surgery. She learned about plastic surgery when she was 8 years old and from then on she knew that that was her destiny. Since there are no plastic surgery procedures in Finland, she traveled for her first breast augmentation to Estonia, after her second surgery she became hooked. She is now a 30GG. Her third surgery was the one that almost got her killed because she had a reaction to the anesthetic and suffered a seizure. However, not even the near-death experience decreased her plastic surgery obsession. She asked for another surgery but the doctors refused, still if it was possible she would do it again.
Barbie's popularity has lasted 60 years and it's still going strong so much so that these five women are just an example of what women are willing to do to achieve that perfect Barbie doll look.