On Barbie's Birthday, It's Clear How Much Can Change in 57 Years

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Want to know just how our fashion and beauty standards have changed?

Just look at Barbie, a "living" testimony to the way women see beauty, fashion and their bodies. Since she debuted on March 9, 1959, at the American Toy Fair in New York City, Barbie has functioned as a time capsule in doll form. She was, after all, the first doll for kids made with an adult body. As a "teenage fashion model," she has always reflected the trends of the times with her ever-fashionable outfits, painted-on makeup and perma-arched feet.

Or flat feet — since now, in 2016, we finally have Barbies who can wear flats and sneakers. We also finally have Barbies with bigger butts, kinkier hair, darker skin and stockier statures. 

Barbie has always embodied our ideals; now, she's finally beginning to embody our reality.

Barbie, 1959
Source: 
paille-fr/Flickr
The new Barbie Pin-Up, showcased at the Toy Salon in Lyon, France, in February 1963
Source: 
Getty Images
Vintage Barbie in the "Togetherness" collection, 1968
Source: 
romitagirl67/Flickr
Barbie on display, November 19, 1979
Source: 
Getty Images
A Barbie doll wearing designer clothes taken in Paris, May 1985
Source: 
Getty Images
Barbie wearing "designer" clothes, 1989
Source: 
FRANCOIS MARIT/Getty Images
A dentist Barbie doll is displayed at the International Toy Center annual fair, February 10, 1997
Source: 
Getty Images
Barbie dolls for the Olympics are displayed by Mattel at the American International Toy Fair, February 14, 2000
Source: 
Getty Images
The new Jewel Girl Barbie is displayed by Mattel at the American International Toy Fair, February 14, 2000
Source: 
Getty Images
This Barbie is an ice skater who can really twirl and skate as she performs in the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games
Source: 
Getty Images
Toy maker Mattel, Inc. featured an extended line of Barbie figures and accessories at the International Toy Fair, February 10, 2002
Source: 
Getty Images
Girls Aloud Barbie Dolls, 2005
Source: 
Getty Images
Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse Friendship Doll on display at the Dream Toys 2013 press day, November 6, 2013
Source: 
Getty Images
Source: Mattel

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Ellie Krupnick

Ellie is Mic's editorial director of lifestyle. A former style and fashion editor for The Huffington Post, her writing has also appeared in Women's Wear Daily, HarpersBazaar.com and the Twitter feeds of British royal fans everywhere.

MORE FROM

"No religion" is now Australia's most popular religious affiliation

The segment of Australia's population marking "no religion" is growing quickly.

Global ransomware hack hits infrastructure targets across Europe

Targets include Russia's biggest oil company, Ukraine's largest airport and its state power company.

France convenes youngest, most diverse Parliament in its history. Is this the future of Europe?

Thanks to Emmanuel Macron's newly formed party, the French government is more diverse than ever before.

Kremlin slams White House's warning of potential chemical attack in Syria

The U.S. and Russia continue to spar over Syria.

EU slaps Google with a record 2.42 billion euro fine

The tech giant has a hefty fine in its future.

Detroit judge halts deportation of 1,400 Iraqi nationals living in US

Many of the Iraqis are Chaldean Christians who reportedly voted for Trump.

"No religion" is now Australia's most popular religious affiliation

The segment of Australia's population marking "no religion" is growing quickly.

Global ransomware hack hits infrastructure targets across Europe

Targets include Russia's biggest oil company, Ukraine's largest airport and its state power company.

France convenes youngest, most diverse Parliament in its history. Is this the future of Europe?

Thanks to Emmanuel Macron's newly formed party, the French government is more diverse than ever before.

Kremlin slams White House's warning of potential chemical attack in Syria

The U.S. and Russia continue to spar over Syria.

EU slaps Google with a record 2.42 billion euro fine

The tech giant has a hefty fine in its future.

Detroit judge halts deportation of 1,400 Iraqi nationals living in US

Many of the Iraqis are Chaldean Christians who reportedly voted for Trump.