Iconic doll ‘Barbie’ celebrates 58th birthday

(WFLA) – An American icon is celebrating her 58th birthday today.

Barbie made her debut on March 9, 1959 at New York City’s American Toy Fair.

Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel with her husband, came up with the idea of an adult doll after seeing her daughter ignore her baby dolls to play with adult women paper dolls. Handler realized that children would like playing with adult dolls that allowed them to imagine the future.

“My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices,” said Ruth Handler. 

Today, Barbie is known around the world and recently honored the 17 global models for International Women’s Day. One-of-a-kind dolls were made in the likenesses of the following  women:

Patty Jenkins, Filmmaker, USA – The first woman in history to helm a film with a budget in excess of 100 million dollars for WONDER WOMAN, which broke the record for Biggest Grossing Live-Action Film Directed by a Woman – domestic and worldwide

Chloe Kim, Snowboarding Champion, USA – A first generation Asian-American snowboarding champion and the youngest woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding at the 2018 winter games at age 17

Bindi Irwin, Conservationist, Australia – International award-winning wildlife conservationist and celebrity who inherited her father’s passion for wildlife and is dedicated to inspiring the next generation to make a difference in the world

Nicola Adams, Boxing Champion, UK – Two-time gold medalist who is Great Britain’s most successful female boxer of all time and is the only female boxer in the history of the sport to have held all four amateur titles

Çağla Kubat, Windsurfer, Turkey – Champion windsurfer and member of the Fenerbahçe sailing and windsurfing team who founded her own windsurfing school for young surfers

Hélène Darroze, World-Renowned Chef, France – Inspirational fourth-generation French chef with three restaurants and two Michelin stars

Hui Ruoqi, Volleyball Champion, China – Fifteenth Captain of the Chinese women’s national volleyball team who also won gold in the 2016 summer games

Leyla Piedayesh, Designer and Entrepreneur, Germany – Iranian immigrant and founder of fashion label lala Berlin that incorporates urban-cool and elegant-chic elements in its high-quality knitwear

Lorena Ochoa, Professional Golfer, Mexico – Athlete, mother, entrepreneur and unbreakable promoter of golf in Mexico

Martyna Wojciechowska, Journalist, Poland – TV presenter, magazine editor, author, director and the second Polish woman to conquer the Seven Summits

Sara Gama, Soccer Player, Italy – Captain of Juventus and Italian national soccer team, member of the Federal Board and President of Commission for the development of women’s soccer

Xiaotong Guan, Actress and Philanthropist, China – Ambassador for “World Life Day,” a joint campaign by the United Nations Environment Program, International Fund for Animal Welfare and The Nature Conservancy, and known as the “Nation’s Daughter” in China

Yuan Tan, Prima Ballerina, China – Prima ballerina and principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet and guest principal dancer at the Hong Kong Ballet

Vicky Martin Berrocal, Entrepreneur and Fashion Designer, Spain – Leads the creative direction of Victoriacompany with collections that include festive costumes, flamenco dresses, gowns, handbags and jewelry

Amelia Earhart – First female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, courageously challenging the conventions of the times by breaking and setting aviation records

Frida Kahlo – Artist who gained recognition for her unique style and perspective, and became a celebrated artist, activist and symbol of strength

Katherine Johnson –  Pioneer in mathematics who broke through barriers of race and gender, and joined a pool of women hired by NASA to work as ‘human computers’ to calculate the trajectory of the first American-manned flight into space

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