- In 2019, Barbie celebrates her 60th anniversary.
- Since her 1959 debut, Barbie has held over 200 jobs, including astronaut, equestrian, and computer programmer.
- She became an astronaut in 1965, four years before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
- And in the ’90s, she decided to run for president – before any other woman had been on the ballot.
This year, Barbie celebrates her 60th anniversary. Always a trailblazer, the classic doll has held over 200 careers since her 1959 debut, as Barbie co-founder Ruth Handler strove to inspire girls to pursue the jobs of their dreams.
From running for president to landing on the moon, here are 25 of Barbie’s best jobs throughout the years.
Barbie held many jobs throughout the early ’60s. The first was a fashion designer.
Ruth Handler first got the idea for Barbie when she observed her daughter playing with paper dolls. She set out to create a 3D version, and in 1959, the first Barbie was created (and named after Handler’s daughter, Barbara).
In 1961, she put on her dancing shoes to become a ballerina.
“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,” Handler said.
Later that same year, she got the travel bug and became a flight attendant.
Per Barbie Media, “Recognising a gap in the market, which only offered baby dolls for girls to imagine themselves as caregivers, Ruth invented the fashion doll category with a three-dimensional doll that girls could use to imagine their future selves.”
Barbie also became a registered nurse in the ’60s.
Barbie often came with accessories to match her various jobs. When she was a nurse, she came with her medical diploma, medicine, and a hot water bag.
She hopped onto the tennis court, too.
In 1963, she donned this classy “career girl” ensemble.
Ever the classy gal, Barbie’s looks – especially the more formal ones in the ’60s – featured accessories like hats and gloves.
She also graduated college in the Class of ’63.
Then in 1965, she became an astronaut — four years before Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.
Not only did Barbie venture to the new frontier way before Neil Armstrong did, but she did so before other women could: NASA didn’t hire their first crop of female astronauts until 1978.
In 1973, Barbie became a surgeon.
Barbie became a surgeon in the ’70s, a time when few women were even applying to medical school, according to Barbie’s website.
She smiled for the camera in 1977, working as a fashion model.
Barbie’s job versatility presented many options for young girls, showing them that they had the freedom to chose between a surgeon and a fashion model, and everything in between.
She got into the fitness craze of the ’80s and became an aerobics instructor.
We can totally hear her saying, “Five, six, seven, eight!”
Barbie also rocked big, ’80s hair as a rock star in 1986.
Wonder what her hit song was …
In 1991, she went back up in the air again — but this time as an Air Force pilot.
Just two years later, in 1993, Jeannie Leavitt became the United States Air Force’s first female fighter pilot.
Barbie went the opposite direction in 1994, venturing into the deep seas as a scuba diver.
You know what they say: darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter.
Her love of animals came through in 1996. Barbie became a veterinarian.
Barbie loves her pets and animals.
She became a dentist in 1997.
Barbie’s humanitarian instincts have really shone through in her various medical occupations throughout the years.
Who says Barbie can’t swing? She joined the Major League in ’98.
“A League of Their Own” came out just a few years prior, in 1992, and definitely could’ve given Barbie inspiration for her own career in baseball.
And she hit the NASCAR tracks later that same year.
She always seems to be leading the pack, even on the race car tracks.
In 1999, she was a career woman again, rocking a briefcase and cell phone.
Cell phones were all the rage in the late ’90s, and their popularity has only skyrocketed from there. Naturally, Barbie needed one for her business endeavours.
In 2004, she ran for president. And yes, Barbie approves this message.
Barbie’s first Presidential bid occurred in the ’90s, per Barbie Media, which was “before any female candidate ever made it onto the presidential ballot.”
She competed on American Idol in 2005.
Always keeping up with the latest in pop culture, Barbie took a shot at the iconic singing competition three years after it premiered.
In 2010, she learned to code and became a computer engineer.
With “only 24% of today’s STEM careers held by women,” Barbie has tackled gigs in computer engineering and video game developing.
In 2016, she ran for president with a running mate.
There’s power in numbers.
Barbie and her squad became robotic engineers in 2018.
Barbie’s science-related careers encourage girls to pursue STEM.
Her latest career path has Barbie exploring the world for National Geographic.
Barbie is expanding her career perspective to the world this year, travelling the globe and reporting for National Geographic. Go, girl.
- Read more:
- Here’s what Barbie looked like the year you were born
- Barbie and Ken have been on and off since 1961 – here’s a complete timeline of their iconic relationship
- 20 vintage photos of women in the workplace
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