To celebrate her 50th birthday, Barbie will be sold for only $3 at participating retailers for a one-week period from March 9 to March 14. Mattel has leaked word to the press that a new Barbie will be revealed at midnight on Barbie’s 50th birthday, March 9, an updated Barbie with a “new face sculpt” that will be a “modern interpretation” of the 1959 Barbie doll.
This newly fashioned Barbie comes on the heels of Mattel’s recently introduced and controversial “Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie,” a true 21st century Barbie who comes with a set of body art stickers and a tattoo gun that allows children to stamp designs on themselves. Though some grandparents and older mothers disapprove of this racier Barbie, the new tattoo-loving Barbie merely reflects the trend of the first generation of young mothers who sport tattoos and see nothing wrong with their children stamping tattoos on their favorite doll. (Link to Tattoo Barbie commercial on YouTube.)
In the past, Barbie has been a trend setter in establishing the ideal female image rather than sheepishly following the herd. The explosive growth of breast augmentation surgery and liposuction could be partly attributed to Barbie’s impossible-to-achieve figure without the help of a surgeon’s scalpel and fat-sucking vacuum cleaner.
If you’re planning to celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday (we suggest a vanilla cake with pale pink frosting), here are some fun Barbie facts with which to amuse your party guests:
Barbie Factoid #1: Barbie and Ken are no longer an item
Barbie and Ken broke up on Valentine’s Day in 2004 after a 43 year relationship. Apparently Barbie got tired of waiting for a ring and a date.
Barbie Factoid #2: Twiggy was the first Barbie celebrity doll
Other celebrity Starbies have included Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Lindsay Lohan, LeAnn Rimes and Cher. (We are still eagerly awaiting the Rosie O’Donnell Barbie.)
Barbie Factoid #3: Barbie’s real name is Barbie Millicent Roberts, and she attended Willows High School in Willows, Wisconsin.
Barbie Factoid #4: Barbie has four little sisters: Skipper, Stacie, Kelly and Krissy.
Can you imagine the size of the Roberts’ family clothing budget?
Barbie Factoid #5: The best-selling Barbie doll ever was Totally Hair Barbie.
This 1992 hairdresser’s dream Barbie doll had tresses that flowed down to her toes.
Barbie Factoid #6: Barbie has had more than 108 careers
She also ran for president four times, tying with Ralph Nader.
Three Barbie Dolls we’d like to see:
1. The Yo-Yo Diet Barbie: Comes with removable globs of fat so she can be as plump or as slinky as you want her to be.
2. The Green Barbie: Made of recyclable plastic, she uses only one sheet of toilet paper and shops at Goodwill.
3. The View Barbie: Never mind. We already have Elizabeth Hasselbeck.