‘Young ladies could be anything they needed to be’: The means by which Ruth Controller developed Barbie

Throughout recent many years, Barbie has been discounted as out of date, misogynist, and lacking variety. Mattel, the organization that claims the privileges to Barbie, has endeavored to course address on different events yet no mediation has demonstrated almost as effective as Greta Gerwig’s strong true to life take. As she spearheads another time for Barbie on the big screen, worth glancing back at one more lady broke limits with the person – Ruth Controller, the designer of the Barbie doll.

Who was Ruth Controller?

The most youthful of 10 kids, Controller was brought into the world in 1916 to Clean guardians who moved to the US and got comfortable Denver, Colorado. In 1936, Ruth, a 19-year-old undergrad, traveled to Los Angeles and, without really thinking, gathered up a task at Principal Studios. Once in LA, she never thought back and ultimately convinced her secondary school darling, Elliot Controller, to move there with her. Together, Ruth and Elliot established the Mattel company in 1945 which would proceed to rule the kids’ toy market in the post-war years.

Enlivened by her girl’s interest with paper dolls that seemed to be grown-ups, Controller sent off Barbie to the American market in 1959. It was named after her girl Barbara. The doll was a quick achievement, and Mattel, currently a prevailing player, turned into the behemoth of kids’ toys.

In the panorama of human innovation, there are a few groundbreaking inventions that change the course of our cultural fabric, reshaping the very nature of how we see the world. It’s not just about technology or science; often, these change-makers appear in the form of a simple toy. One such toy is the brainchild of a remarkable woman, Ruth Handler, who once uttered, ‘Little girls could be anything they wanted to be‘, a statement that forever changed the perception of playtime for millions of girls across the globe.

The invention we are speaking of is no other than the beloved fashion doll known worldwide as Barbie. Born out of a revolutionary idea, Barbie, the playtime idol, transcended the realm of child’s play and made a powerful statement about the potential of every girl’s aspirations.

The idea of Barbie was not just a toy; it was a prism of dreams, a catalyst for self-belief, and a mirror reflecting an entire spectrum of careers, roles, and identities that little girls could choose from. It was, as Ruth Handler profoundly put, a testament that ‘Little girls could be anything they wanted to be’. This was the seed of Ruth’s vision, the cornerstone upon which the empire of Barbie was built.

To comprehend the full spectrum of Ruth Handler’s ingenious creation, one must delve into the labyrinth of her life story, to unveil the genesis of the world’s most popular doll, Barbie. Ruth Handler’s journey is a fascinating narrative of tenacity, ingenuity, and an indomitable spirit.

Born Ruth Marianna Mosko in 1916, she was a daughter of Polish immigrants in Denver. From her humble beginnings, Ruth had an intrinsic curiosity and a propensity to dream big, qualities that would eventually birth the idea of Barbie. The notion that ‘Little girls could be anything they wanted to be‘ was ingrained in Ruth from a young age.

As she grew, so did her ambition. She relocated to Los Angeles with her husband, Elliot Handler, in the early 1940s. This relocation marked the genesis of a journey that would etch her name in the annals of toy-making history.

In Los Angeles, the Handlers founded Mattel, a company that would become a leviathan in the world of toys. Ruth Handler’s ingenuity was not confined to business strategy; she had a knack for observing human behavior, especially children. It was during one of these keen observations of her daughter, Barbara, that the idea of Barbie was born.

Her daughter, like many other little girls, enjoyed playing with paper dolls, often assigning them adult roles. Ruth realized a gap in the market. Most dolls back then were babies, implying that nurturing was the only role play available for girls. It was an observation that made Ruth Handler utter the profound words: ‘Little girls could be anything they wanted to be‘.

Thus, Barbie was conceived out of a keen desire to fill this gap, providing girls with a toy that they could identify with beyond a nurturing role, a toy that could be a professional, an adventurer, a leader – in essence, anything they wanted to be.

The creation of Barbie was met with initial skepticism. The adult figure, the full chest, and the fashionable clothes were seen as inappropriate. However, Ruth Handler persevered, fervently believing in her creation. She was steadfast, convinced that Barbie was the much-needed toy to allow girls to envision their future selves, to see that they could become anything they wanted to be.

Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York in 1959. The doll, with its sophisticated fashion sense, modeled after Parisian haute couture, made an immediate splash. In the first year alone, Mattel sold 350,000 Barbie dolls, a testament to Ruth’s vision.

Over the years, Barbie became more than just a doll; she became an emblem of possibility. She took on a myriad of roles – astronaut, doctor, president, engineer, a reflection of Ruth Handler’s proclamation, ‘Little girls could be anything they wanted to be‘. With each new role Barbie embraced, she enabled girls across the world to dream beyond their immediate realities, to aspire for careers and lifestyles that might not have been commonly associated with women then.

Ruth Handler’s invention of Barbie was a monumental shift in how society viewed toys and the purpose they served. No longer was playing merely an act of recreation. Barbie became an instrument for young girls to mirror their dreams, aspirations, and future selves.