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First sold on March 9, 1959, Barbie (Barbara Millicent Roberts) has been permanently associated with ultimate, conventional beauty, as the world's best selling doll.

Created by Jack Ryan and manufactured by Mattel, this one doll is a $1.9 million dollar a year industry, with two Barbies being bought every second. Barbie Millicent Roberts, a student of Willows High School in Willows, Wisconsin and her permanent beau Ken, are the supreme images in Westerners minds of what a doll is, and what a toy is.

Throughout the years, her family and friends expanded. Additions to the family tree included Skipper[?] (debut 1964), Tutti[?], Stacie[?] (1992), and Kelly[?] (1995). Barbie has dated Ken since 1961, and has long broken ties with her best friend Midge.

Barbie has been used in an effort to promote gender equality[?], showing that women can work at anything. Career woman Barbie has taken up many occupations over the years, they include:

Barbie has thirty-eight recorded pets, including cats and dogs, horses, a panda, a lion cub, and a zebra. Barbie has used her driver's license to the fullest, with pink convertables, trailers and more. She also has a pilot's license[?], and operates commercial airliners, while not serving as a stewardess.

The best selling Barbie was one released in the early-1990s, Totally Hair Barbie[?], with stylable hair for head to toes.

Barbie's Physical Evolution Over the years, Barbie has evolved. Originally a red-head[?] with only a touch of blonde[?], Barbie has changed the color of her plumage many times, since settling only on blonde. Also, there are ethinically diverse versions of Barbie that feature different skin tones, as well as different hair colors to match.

One of the most publicized changes happened around the turn of the century, as Barbie's ultra-thin waist widened to more natural proportions. This change, rallied for for years by some parents' and Anorexia groups, is to encourage young girls not to be as hyper-actively concerned with their weight, and thus to eat more healthily and avoid eating disorders.

Related Merchandise The mid-1990s saw a line of early novels, featuring her adventurous exploits. By the late-1990s, Mattel had moved to featuring her in interactive 3D video games for both gaming consoles[?] and personal computers. In recent years, she has taken the computer animated movie industry by storm, guest appearing in Toy Story 2[?], and later her own direct-to-video movies, Barbie's Nutcracker[?] and Rapunzel Barbie[?], both of which were accompnied by small product lines, including a doll of Barbie in the costumes portrayed in the shorts. Though not feature length, they are fairly abundant in plot, for the younger audience, of course.

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