After 60 Years, Barbie Is Still The Coolest Girl You Know

After 60 Years, Barbie Is Still The Coolest Girl You Know

Over the brand's 60 years, Barbie has empowered girls to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president. -Mattel


Barbie was created in 1959 by businesswoman Ruth Handler, who noticed her daughter Barbara projecting adult roles onto her paper dolls. Most dolls sold at that time were baby dolls, so due to the lack of adult-bodied dolls on the market, Ruth proposed the idea to her husband Elliot, co-founder of Mattel toy company. Since then, Barbie has been a cultural icon, serving children everywhere.

Barbie has always been a forward-thinker, often creating dolls based around cultural issues. Before women were allowed to open bank accounts, Barbie bought her first Dreamhouse, helping girls visualize a future with equal rights. We sent Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969, but Miss Astronaut Barbie did it first in 1965. In 1968, Mattel introduced Christie, their first black doll, in support of equal rights. Then, eventually, in 1980, Mattel released other diverse dolls named Barbie, instead of just being known as "Barbie's friends," showcasing that truly anyone can "be Barbie."

Barbie's 1985 "We Girls Can Do Anything" ad campaign featured slogans such as "anything is possible as long as we try," and "we girls can do anything, right, Barbie?" Mattel released President Barbie in 1992, which was redone in 2016 to include both President and Vice President Barbie dolls. Also in 2016, Barbie released new body types–curvy, petite, and tall–to be more of a representation of what women actually look like. In addition, later this year, Barbie will be releasing disabled dolls "to better represent the people and the world kids see around them."

Barbie has been celebrating women since her conception and teaching young girls that they can do anything they set their minds to. And Barbie doesn't stop there; Mattel is constantly releasing new Barbie dolls and initiatives that represent modern women. Most recently, Barbie introduced the Dream Gap Project, created to show girls that their gender doesn't determine their worth: "This year, Barbie is kicking off the Dream Gap Project, an ongoing global initiative that includes funding research, highlighting positive role models, and producing inspiring content and products." Today, Barbie represents over 200 careers, including those in typically male-dominated fields like robotics, piloting, and scientists. Now, kids everywhere can play with dolls that look like them and can envision a future where they can do anything if they try. Right, Barbie?

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9 Things We All Did In Middle School During The 2000s

We're all guilty of it.

Middle school. The most embarrassing years of my life. I look back at my pictures and just wonder why in the world would I do that? Why did I look like that? How did someone let me do that? But to be honest, I wouldn't want it any other way because I wouldn't have something to look back on today. Just about every middle school girl can relate to this:

SEE ALSO: 15 Food Items Every 2000s Middle Schooler Was Addicted To

1. Getting "married"

I don't know about you but I took my "marriage" very seriously. We had a 25 cent ring and everything. We called each other "wifey's" to top it all off. Believe it or not, we even had a wedding video. It was pretty legit. Then I found out she was also married to another friend in our friend group. It was a sad breakup but we worked through it and she's my best friend to this day.

2. Duck lips

The legendary duck lips. The bigger the lips the better. I went through a phase where I don't think I ever took a picture with my teeth showing. Why did we think this was cool? I wish I knew.

3. Atrocious wardrobe

Sophie shorts ring a bell? I think I had one in at least every color. Oh and don't forget about my soccer ball ones that I just HAD to wear to soccer practice. What about tying your shirt to the side or tucking in the front of your t-shirt to your shorts? For some reason, this was a long-running style. I am not sure how.

4. Forward messages

Those messages were so annoying yet fun. If I didn't forward those I swear I thought something was actually going to happen to me.

5. Learning everything on the bus

From bad words to inappropriate anything. You learned what things were and where things came from. I learned more things on the bus than I ever did in school.

6. Festivals

They were the best thing to do on a summer weekend. You couldn't miss it. Although no on really rode the rides or played games. It was basically a giant get together for your side of town with a bunch of middle school drama.

7. Awkward mirror selfies

Don't lie, we've all taken them at some point.

8. Edited pictures

There were edited pictures with irrelevant words surrounding our faces. Or writing the words "BFF's" around it to make sure everyone knew that you guys were best friends. At some points, I would actually have people like my status for me to make them an edited picture. Consider yourself lucky if you didn't. Pic Monkey was my life.

9. Webcam pictures

What're you doing tonight? Oh, just taking pics on my webcam.

SEE ALSO: A Playlist Of A Middle Schooler From 2007

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Wessel

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The Problem With Men

The damage of toxic masculinity.


Toxic masculinity is deeply rooted in stereotypes held for the male population. It's characteristics are a constant outward appearance of being strong mentally and physically, a suppression of emotion, and a violent behavior to assume a presence of power. The problem with men isn't men themselves, but societies reinforcement of these qualities defined as toxic masculinity. Nevertheless, men are still responsible for their actions and should hold themselves accountable.

Toxic masculinity causes problems for everyone, but it is particularly harmful to women. It is a contributing cause to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. The United States has begun to recognize these issues and people have come together to fight them. What becomes overlooked, is the damage toxic masculinity has on men. The constant need to be strong and conceal emotion is extremely harmful to mental health. We cannot all be strong all the time, but that is the societal standard for men. This can be a contributing factor of increased suicide rates and decreased mental health in the male population. The need to prove power through violence could also be a reason for the overwhelming amount of men to women in the prison population. Some examples of the lesser effects of toxic masculinity are the assumptions that boys cannot play with dolls or like princesses, that men cannot wear dresses or skirts, and that men cannot be interested in makeup or clothing. This greatly limits individuality and outer expression for men. Girls have gained the acceptance to play with trucks or like superheroes, women can wear pants, and can be interested in cars or tools. There is still a long way to go for women, but for men, the battle for these simple things has not even been won.

Toxic masculinity stems from the fact that men are still held as superior to women. To show emotion, or to be 'weak', or to do anything that makes them akin to women will undermine their societal superiority. Inequality of the sexes has led to the issue of toxic masculinity and it all comes from prejudice and discrimination against women. To fix toxic masculinity we have to address the issue of perceived inferiority of women. Men cannot get completely better until the problem that births all the rest, is solved.

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