Barbie turns 60-years-old today, so Mattel celebrated by highlighting how far the iconic doll has come over the decades. Images from @Barbie Instagram

Barbie Turns 60: A look at the iconic doll through the decades

Mattel’s popular doll officially launched at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959

For a 60-year-old woman, Barbie has aged amazingly well.

Mattel’s arguably most popular toy and brand celebrated its 60th birthday Saturday. In honour of the milestone the company recently recapped some of the Barbie brand’s most iconic moments and looks.

Barbie was created by Ruth Handler “to show girls they had choices – they could be anything” according to the brand’s Instagram. The doll officially debuted on Mar. 9, 1959 at the New York Toy Fair in a black and white striped swimsuit and her signature ponytail.

Images from @Barbie Instagram

The 1960s were a big decade for Barbie, with the brand releasing her first careers – fashion designer, registered nurse and airline stewardess – first car, first dream house. The company also released its first celebrity-inspired doll – modeled after British fashion model Twiggy – and her first black doll friend, Christie.

Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, also made his debut during this era thanks to “hundreds of letters from little girls.”

Barbie embraced more careers and accessories in the 1970s, and received the iconic makeover as Malibu Barbie. The brand said that the doll had a “new face sculpt and eyes that faced forward – instead of glancing off to the side – for the first time.”

Images from @Barbie Instagram

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The brand focused on embracing diversity in the 1980s, releasing the first black and Hispanic dolls named Barbie. The dolls of the world collection was also released during this decade and fans of the brand met for the first time at the Barbie Collector Convention.

The 80s were also a time for Barbie to embrace arts and culture, with Oscar de la Renta creating a line of designer clothes for the doll and Andy Warhol adding her to his list of painting American icons.

Images from @Barbie Instagram

In the 90s, Barbie went political and ran for President of the United States. But not to leave her fun-loving side behind, the brand also released their Totally Hair Barbie during this era, which featured the doll’s longest hair length yet.

The turn of the century brought flexibility to the doll, with the brand releasing Extreme 360 Degree Barbie with bendable limbs. They also expanded her reach with her first full-length feature film, first sign language inclusive doll and first New York runway show to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Images from @Barbie Instagram

Finally, this past decade Barbie has been embracing online culture by becoming an Instagram style influencer and YouTube vlogger. The brand also celebrated diversity in the 2010s by adding different body types to the Barbie line – curvy, petite and tall – and including more “skin tones, eye colours and hairstyles” for the Barbie Fashionistas.

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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