Throw on some Aqua — March 9 is National Barbie Day! In 1959, an 11-inch tall bombshell made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Designed by Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel Inc., Barbie was created to allow girls to imagine what their lives could be like in the future. She’s had a slew of careers, from a registered nurse to an astronaut. And she’s done it all with a companion. Barbie was a single lady for all of 2 years. But in 1961, overwhelming demand caused Handler to release a boyfriend for her — Ken. (Verdict’s out if he’s ever going to put a ring on it.) On National Barbie Day, we celebrate all things Barbie.
National Barbie Day timeline
The first-ever Barbie debuts in a black and white swimsuit at the New York Toy Fair.
Before women are even allowed to open their own bank accounts, Barbie purchases her first dream house.
The Christie doll hits the market as one of the very first black dolls.
Barbie’s first fashion partnership is with designer Oscar de la Renta for a clothing line specially designed for Barbie.
Barbie runs as a candidate in the presidential election.
Barbie gets her first feature-length movie, “Barbie in the Nutcracker.”
Barbies get three new body types: tall, petite, and curvy, earning Barbie the front cover of “Time” magazine.
National Barbie Day Activities
Play Barbie, of course
Create some memories and play Barbie with your children or relatives! We won’t judge you if you get a little distracted and start playing with Barbie yourself.
Buy your Barbie new clothes
Take your Barbie on a shopping spree. You can view a full lineup on the Mattel website or support independent artists by shopping on Amazon. Either way, your Barbie is heading to style city.
Blast some Aqua
You have our full permission to blast Aqua’s 1997 hit “Barbie Girl” (as if you even needed a reason). Life in plastic — it’s fantastic!
Why We Love National Barbie Day
Barbie helps girls dream big
Since her creation, Barbie has had more than 150 careers. She’s been an astronaut, a CEO and she’s even run for president! Barbie acts as a role model and inspires young girls to pursue these same careers.
Barbie is family-oriented
Barbie’s fun for the whole family! Ruth Handler created Barbie as a toy for her daughter — and even named it after her. Fun fact: Ken is named after Handler’s son.
Barbie is a trend-setter
Mattel was the first company to broadcast commercials to children, propelling the Barbie toy to success and opening a new advertising frontier. They started advertising on the Mickey Mouse Club, which greatly increased their Barbie sales. As every parent knows, kids will bug you about what they want until they get it!
National Barbie Day dates