Five Books About Barbie History, There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Pink

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From her creation in 1959 to her recent live-action movie, nominated for Best Movie at the 96th Academy Awards, Barbie has been a cultural icon for over six decades. She even has her own National Day on March 9th!

Today, we are celebrating Barbie with a selection of nonfiction books that dive into the history of Barbie. Learn more about the famous fashion doll with illustrations, historical accounts, and exploration of her evolution and cultural impact, and the people that make all of this possible! (Summaries adapted from the publishers).

Dressing Barbie: A Celebration of the Clothes That Made America’s Favorite Doll and the Incredible Woman Behind Them by Carol Spencer

Dressing Barbie, illustrated with over 100 full-color pictures, is a treasure trove of some of Barbie’s greatest and most memorable outfits from the early 1960s to the late 1990s.

Along with behind-the-scenes stories about how these designs came to be, Spencer recalls her exciting time at Mattel working with legendary figures such as Ruth Handler, Barbie’s creator, and Charlotte Johnson, the original Barbie designer, for a complete inside look at life with the beloved doll.

Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her by Robin Gerber

This is the intertwined story of two incredible women. One was a beloved eleven-inch doll, introduced at the 1959 Toy Fair in New York City. She won the hearts of nine out of ten American girls and rose to prominence internationally, eventually becoming an Olympic athlete, air force pilot, boutique owner, and presidential candidate.

The other woman was Ruth Handler, the tenth child of Polish Jewish immigrants. Ruth was a brilliant, creative, and fiercely competitive visionary, a devoted mother and wife who aspired for everything life had to offer. As a talented businesswoman, she transformed American industry and society with her renowned plastic product. Together, they made an unforgettable impression on history.

Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll by M.G. Lord

Barbie’s release in 1959 had a revolutionary influence on baby boomers. Far from being a toy made by men to enslave women, she was created by women to educate them what was expected of them, for better or worse.

M. G. Lord, a first-generation Barbie owner, has created a challenging, hilarious, and sometimes shocking book that will shift your perspective on the doll and the world.

Barbie: Four Decades of Fashion, Fantasy and Fun by Marco Tosa

This book offers a thorough biography of Barbie, delving into her origins, history, and the creative process behind her manufacturing. It looks at Barbie’s ongoing physical progression and includes both vibrant colour graphics and fascinating black-and-white photographs.

Readers can discover about the real-life stars and designers who inspired Barbie’s various incarnations, as well as an in-depth look at her various looks and styles. From the famous blonde, blue-eyed appearance to the Far Eastern dolls, from casual sportswear to high couture, this book delves at Barbie’s growth and cultural relevance.

Barbie: Her Life and Times by BillyBoy*

With a collection exceeding 20,000 dolls, BillyBoy, a Paris-based jewelry designer, offers a unique perspective on Barbie’s evolution. This book traces Barbie’s journey from her inception as a petticoated ’50s icon to her portrayal as a fitness-conscious businesswoman in the ’80s.

Illustrated with 300 full-color and 100 black-and-white photographs, the book offers a visual exploration of Barbie’s cultural impact and transformation over the decades.

This article is illustrated with a picture of Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, available on Netflix. For more Barbie, visit Mattel to see many Barbie Toys and Playsets! Also,