The Barbie doll has had a belly button since 2000. In 1959, the doll was created by Ruth Handler, who with her husband Eliot Handler went on to co-found the Mattel toy manufacturing company. The original Barbie was the first adult-proportioned doll and was modeled after the glamorous image of Hollywood actresses of the 1950s, with either brunette or blonde hair, red pursed lips and highly arched eyebrows but no belly button. The design was updated in 1971 to give Barbie bright blonde hair, whiter teeth and tanner skin, but the body was not altered to include a belly button. In 1997, after complaints about the unrealistic proportions of Barbie’s figure, the doll’s waist was widened, and in 2000, a belly button was added.
More about Barbie:
- The Mattel Company estimates that about 90% of American girls age 3-10 own at least one Barbie doll.
- The Barbie doll has been released with more than 100 professions, including fashion designer, astronaut, solider, hip-hop singer and US presidential candidate.
- If every Barbie doll ever sold was laid head to toe, they would circle the Earth about seven times.
I had a Barbie when I was nine. I made all her clothes myself. And built her a house with lino floors and carpet, formica counter tops and "wrought iron" barstools from bent black coat hangers. My dad helped me with the framing. I still have that packed in the attic. It was a great time for kids back then.
I actually think they probably just added a belly button so that they could have Barbies with belly piercings. Barbie is just so unrealistic it's not funny. There's no reason that she can't just have an average figure, or even a human figure that isn't average. But if you really look at her, her legs and waist are still so far out of proportion it's ridiculous.
My sister was really into collecting them when she was a kid. I actually remember her going on about when Barbie got a belly button and how it was going to drive up the resell value of some of her other dolls.
So many people collect them that I doubt my sister actually has anything that's worth much, to be honest, but I think she just enjoys the process of collecting them.
I did want to have one of the Barbie doll houses at one point though. I didn't want it for my Barbie doll as much as I just wanted to live in it myself!
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