Some facts about Barbie's history are that Ruth Handler created the Barbie doll as a representation of a woman's choices and possibilities in life. Handler created Barbie after watching girls play with paper dolls. The name Barbie comes from Handler's daughter, whose name is Barbara. A Barbie cost $3 in 1959. Barbie is controversial in that some say her measurements are not realistic for an adult woman.
Handler says that she created Barbie to allow girls to be what they want to be through play and imagination with the doll. Ruth and Elliot Handler launched the Barbie doll in 1959 as a product of Mattel Creations. Handler believes that it's important to afford girls the chance to imagine roles as employed adults, college students or other vocations using the doll.
Barbie's launch at the New York Toy Fair created a stir because a doll of an adult varied from the baby dolls that dominated the three-dimensional doll industry at the time. Mattel launched Barbie's friend Ken in 1961. Over the years, versions of Barbie available for sale featured Barbie working in more 125 different professions. Barbie boasted 300,000 sales in her first year, with clothing available for purchase in addition to the doll. These clothes originally cost $1 to $5, and designers base the clothes on the fashion industry's latest offerings.
Critics say that Barbie is an unrealistic representation of women, in that her waist is impossibly small for a woman. Her measurements transform into an adult woman with an 18-inch waist and a 36-inch bust. The Barbie doll is slightly less than 12 inches tall.