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Barlie at 60; Happy birthday to world's No1 doll.

Byline: ANTONIA PAGET

SHE walked on the moon before Neil Armstrong, was the first woman to for President and has just become advanced robotics engineer.

And as Barbie turns 60 this week there's still not a grey hair in sight.

The world's best-selling doll - real name Barbie Millicent Roberts - has inspired generations of girls.

Over 58million Barbies are sold each year - that's 100 every minute. Today, 90 per cent of American girls own one. And she has her own Instagram account plus 5million YouTube subscribers.

Blonde, blue-eyed Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, co-founder of toy company Mattel, as a role model for girls, with interchangeable clothes.

She was named after Ruth's own daughter Barbara, four. The $3 doll launched on March 9, 1959 - 350,000 were sold by Christmas.

In 1961 Barbie got a boyfriend - named Ken after Ruth's son.

INSPIRED

Since then Barbie has been a zoologist, architect, fashion editor, surgeon, vet, gymnast and CEO.

She has inspired art - Andy Warhol painted her in 1986 - hosted her own catwalk show at New York Fashion Week and been on Time Magazine's cover.

Who can forget Aqua's Barbie Girl - UK No1 for three weeks in 1997 - even if they tried? Ruth, who died in 2002, insisted: "Barbie represented the fact that a woman has choices."

But she caused controversy too. Feminists burned Barbies for being a "symbol of male oppression."

Scientists said a real woman with her envyinducing dimensions would be 7ft tall with a 60in bust and 12in waistand a neck that would snap.

She was reshaped in 1998 and now sells with different skin tones, in tall, curvy and petite body shapes - and even with a prosthetic leg.

Lisa McKnight, Mattel's Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, said: "As long as we're inclusive and reflect the real world, Barbie has staying power for another 60 years."

CAPTION(S):

CURVIER FIGURE New-style doll came in 2016 BABY DOLL Pregnant Barbie from 2019 SPACE GIRL Astronaut outfit was a hit in 1969 DISCO DIVA Leotard & leg warmer look in 80s

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WHEEL LIFE With pals Christie & Stacey in '96 special edition

BARBIE'S ANGEL Farrah Fawcett edition

NEW MODEL 1963 Pin-up Barbie

Ruth & dolls in 60s

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 3, 2019
Words:370
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