How Barbie’s Creator Ruth Handler Empowered Generations of Young Girls to Aspire to More Than Just Motherhood
In 1959, the iconic Barbie doll made its grand debut, thanks to a Jewish trailblazing businesswoman, Ruth Handler. Ruth was critical of the baby dolls available at that time and their singular focus on promoting motherhood to young girls. Instead, she decided to take a fresh approach, drawing inspiration from the grown-up paper dolls her daughter adored. Ruth's creation, the Barbie doll, was sophisticated and glamorous. “They want to pretend to be older girls,” Ruth said, arguing Barbie would stimulate young girl's imaginations and allow them to envision a world of grown-up possibilities. Over the years, Barbie took on numerous roles. She was a singer, nurse, fashion designer, college graduate, executive, and astronaut, among many more. For more history of Barbie and her inventor Ruth Handler, check out this piece by Susan Shapiro.
Barbie directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling hits theaters this Friday, July 21st.