Celebrating National Barbie Day


National Barbie Day: a Barbie doll in pink salutes with a friendly smile.Did you know March 9th is National Barbie Day? If anyone got a lot of attention over the last several months in theaters across the country, it was definitely Barbie . . . and Ken. But mostly Barbie. Yes, I saw the movie in the theaters more than once. I took my teenage daughter to see it too, and it was a fun experience for both of us.

History of Barbie

Barbie was created by Ruth Handler (co-founder of Mattel) in 1959. Barbie had so many careers from the start. She quickly became a focal point in influencing young ladies to believe they could be anything they wanted to be. In fact, Barbie has had over 250 careers in her lifetime. She even went to the moon in 1965 — four years before Neil Armstrong.

Keep in mind that women weren’t granted the right to vote until 1920. So, women were still receiving rights they had never had previously. Barbie was unlike anything Americans had ever seen before. She wasn’t a baby doll or toddler. This was a grown woman, an adult, with her own job, her own outfits, and more.

A Barbie doll stands in a window and wears a shirt that says, "Be Yourself."Handler was inspired to create Barbie when she and her daughter, Barbara, saw a German doll named Lilli. Barbara was 15 years old at the time and was instantly drawn to this doll. The doll had more adult characteristics than the ones she was used to playing with at home.

USA Today shares, “Ruth Handler saw her daughter’s toy choices were limited. She could only play out being a mom or caregiver, whereas her son had toys that allowed him to imagine himself as a firefighter, astronaut, doctor, and more,” Mattel says. “This inspired Ruth to create a doll that showed girls they had choices — that they could be anything.”

After years of design, Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in 1959 and instantly became a hit.

As stated previously, women were still being given more freedom each year. It wasn’t until 1961 that Handler created a boyfriend for Barbie and named him Ken (after Ruth Handler’s son). Then the Barbie Dreamhouse was created in 1962, before women were even allowed to open their own bank accounts. In 1963, Barbie was given a friend named Midge and then Skipper a year after that. In 1968, Barbie’s best friend, Christie, was created. This was a big deal because Christie was one of the first black dolls ever made. Barbie was truly an icon for girls everywhere. (Now Barbie has over 35 skin tones!)

additional Mattel dolls, a girl and two boys.In 1992, Mattel showcased the first Barbie President. President Barbie has run seven times since then. There have been chemo Barbies, historic Barbies, celebrity Barbies, runway Barbies, and more. They have expanded and evolved to attempt to have a Barbie doll for everyone.

National Barbie Day

A Barbie doll stepping into silver shoes with pairs of pink shoes on either side.

I don’t know about you, but Barbie is very nostalgic for me. I had so many Barbies and played with them so much when I was younger. The pink cars, all the little shoes and accessories, the Barbie houses, Skipper . . . all of these things bring back good memories.

So if you want to celebrate National Barbie Day today (her birthday) with your friends, or your daughter, why not dress up? Whether you want to wear pink or even re-create a Barbie outfit, make it a fun day. You can invite friends over to watch the Barbie movie at home, and even bring your old dolls with you if you still have them.

A woman dressed up in pink clothes that say "Barbie"It may seem silly to some to have a day dedicated to a doll. I think it represents the gifts, talents, and progress women have made in this country over the last several decades. We can be grateful for independent, forward-thinking women such as Handler, who wanted young ladies to feel empowered and driven to follow their dreams.

So wear the pink and let’s celebrate National Barbie Day on March 9th!


  1. Missy, Such a great article!!! Have always loved Barbie! Had a few, then Francie, Skipper, Skooter, Ken, and Allen too! SAVED CASES, DOLLS, AND ACCESSORIES! (Then had 2 boys! LOL!). Anxious to read more articles!


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