The Barbie Doll

This passage details the creation of the Barbie doll.

Lexile Level: 1020L

Categories: People & Places


The Barbie doll is one of the most famous toys in the Untied States. It was first introduced in 1959, and it made an immediate impact on U.S. culture. Before the Barbie doll, most dolls that children played with were babies or little girls. As such, children related to these dolls as either caregivers or friends. The Barbie doll was different, however; it was explicitly designed to be an adult character, something for a child to aspire to. Barbie's creator, Ruth Handler, got the idea for the doll by watching her daughter and her friends play with paper dolls. Handler noticed that the girls always chose adult dolls to play with. While millions of Barbie dolls have been sold over the years, the toy is not without its critics. The most common criticism is that the doll promotes an unrealistic notion of body image among girls. Critics point out that if Barbie were a real person, she would be over 7 feet tall and weigh about 120 pounds.


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