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9 Times Barbie Stepped Up Its Game To Empower Kids Today

barbie dadsplay yoga
Mattel / Barbie via Barbie Media

For nearly six decades, little girls worldwide have been letting their imagination run wild with the Barbie doll.

The popular toy, created by Mattel's co-founder Ruth Handler and named after her daughter Barbara, debuted on March 9, 1959 at the American International Toy Fair in New York. That's why this day marks Barbie's birthday, and is officially known as National Barbie Day.

Although the toy industry was skeptical of the doll at first, Barbie was Mattel's best-selling toy until sales declined in 2011. But in 2014, when sales dropped by 14 percent, Mattel brought back branding expert Richard Dickson, who first worked with the brand in the '90s.

Barbie, who was once known as the blonde bombshell with the perfect thin body, cool friends, and cute boyfriend Ken, has made a comeback in recent years to be the ideal role model for not only little girls, but every child around the world.

Here's how our favorite doll has stepped up the game.

1. Barbie Career Dolls

national barbie day
Barbie.com

From doctor to scientist and pilot to soccer player, a wide range of career Barbie dolls are out in the market. Sorry to break it to you, Top Model Resort Barbie and Jewel Girl Barbie, but career-driven toys are the inspo kids need today.

2. Anything Is Possible

Fifth Harmony jumped on board with the company to get the inspirational message across to our kids that anything is possible. Astronaut? Superhero? Rock star? Yup. It's all possible. This is also the new official Barbie anthem—just in case you were wondering!

3. Professionals Around Town

The Barbie YouTube channel is constantly updated with new videos. One of those clips is a live featuring two young girls playing with their dolls. Instead of their Barbie's hanging out at the beach or driving around in their cute pink convertible, these dolls are professionals around town!

4. Imagine The Possibilities

In 2015, the company made a comeback with a very empowering ad called Imagine the Possibilities. As Catchnews stated, "only way to really sell a Barbie, is through the imagination of her own playmates," and this commercial captures that essence.

5. Moschino Barbie

We get it, the Moschino Barbie doll is super bougy, but the reason this made our list is because of its ad. In 2015, Moschino and Barbie announced their partnership for a collectors doll. The commercial ad, however, was all over headlines because it featured a fierce young boy. The feedback was great, because after all, boys like dolls too!

6. Role Model Barbies

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Barbie / YouTube

Barbie also began incorporating real role models and creating dolls inspired by some of our favorite athletes and celebrities. Puerto Rican singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, professional ballet dancer Misty Copeland, award-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas, and Mexican-American TV host Mario Lopez, are some of the inspiring people who have dolls.

7. New Body Types

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Barbie Media

As part of their new campaign slogan "Imagination comes in all shapes and sizes" in 2016, Barbie introduced four new body types: original, tall, petite, and curvy. They also included new hair colors and styles so that each and every unique kid can relate.

8. If I Were President Dolls

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Mattel / Barbie

In the midst of all the presidential elections in 2016, the company introduced the very powerful duo: President and Vice President Dolls. Barbie even dropped an inspiring video where they asked little girls what they would do if they were president.

9. Dads Who Play Barbie

Most recently, the company kicked off 2017 with a new campaign: #DadsWhoPlayBarbie. “Spotlighting father-daughter relationships through playing with Barbie continues to articulate the importance of imagination and creativity on a girl’s journey to self-discovery," said Lisa McKnight, Barbie's Senior Vice President and General Manager in an official release.

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