Growing up with an ordinary life where my father and sisters earn just about enough to cover our basic monthly expenses, toys such as dolls are nothing but a dream for me. I grew up sleeping with regular pillows and no teddy bears or stuffed animals to hug at night. We don’t have money for toys – that was the rule, but it doesn’t mean I cannot enjoy my playtime. I remember my sister would help me make fake paper money out of bond papers. We would cut the papers into the size of the peso bills and write the denominations in it. Then, I will place the bundle of fake bills in a small bag, walk around and pretend that I am a rich young lady and I will buy anything that I want with that play money. 😀
While Barbie and Play-Doh are the famous toys when I was a kid, I only see them in TV commercials every Saturdays in our local channels. After watching the Barbie commercials, you will daydream to have your own doll and play with it. I was 8 years old when I received my first Barbie doll from my sister and her then-boyfriend, and as a kid I was thinking “Wow! He is so generous. He got me a Barbie doll!“
If you are thinking that my happy days finally started with my new toy, you are wrong. You see, my mother is very old-fashioned and for her, expensive toys should be displayed in our cabinet.
If you are from the Philippines, you would understand what I mean. I’m not sure if parents from other parts of the world were doing that. The reason behind was to preserve the condition of the toy. But a child cannot understand that! Will you agree with me? For a child, a toy is something you play with and that is the main function of the thing.
Since my mother displayed it in one of the cabinets, I would wait for her to sleep for the afternoon siesta and then I would carefully sneak in and open the Barbie doll’s box just to admire and hold her for a couple of seconds and then I will hurriedly return her back in the box before my mother finds out that I am not having my afternoon nap. 😀
I remember doing that a number of times until it got obvious that it was being opened because the cover of the doll’s box was already worn out. 😀 Looking back now, I find it ridiculous and funny at the same time. But can you blame me? 😀
My memories with Barbie was rekindled because our dear Barbara Millicent Roberts (Barbie’s full name) celebrates her 56th birthday today. She debuted on March 9, 1959 and successfully became a cultural icon. And to celebrate the 56 wonderful years of Mattel’s famous doll, let us see how Barbie captured every young girl’s heart over the years.
Barbie in 1959
Bubble-Cut Barbie in 1962
Twist Barbie in 1969
Sunset Malibu Barbie in 1971
The Superstar Barbie in 1977
The Golden Dream Barbie in 1981
Peaches n’ Cream Barbie in 1985
The Pink Jubilee Year Barbie and Perfume Pretty Barbie in 1987
Tye Dye Barbie in 1998
President Barbie in 2000
Elle Woods Barbie in 2003
This was inspired by Reese Witherspoon’s movie, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde
Barbie Hula Honey in 2006
50th Anniversary Barbie Doll in 2009
Quintessential Barbie in 2010
Barbie Dolls of the World in 2012
These are the dolls representing the Ireland, Australia, China, and Argentina.
Barbie HAIR-TASTICS in 2013
Karl Lagerfeld Barbie in 2014
My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.
RUTH HANDLER, founder of Barbie Doll