Did you know March 9 was National Barbie® Day? That’s right, it’s the birthday of everyone’s favorite hot-pink icon! It was 64 years ago that Ruth Handler created the blonde doll that would forever change countless childhoods.
So let’s take a closer look at the fashionable, stylish, and constantly evolving Barbie® doll, and how you can celebrate National Barbie® Day in Los Angeles!
The Iconic Doll’s Origins
Back in 1959, most of the dolls sold to kids were made to look like babies. The idea was that a doll was something a child would take care of, as if they were a parent. But Ruth Handler noticed that her daughter Barbara would make her paper dolls act like adults rather than infants.
Seeing an untapped market, Ruth Handler (who was a co-founder of the Mattel toy company), created the first Barbie® doll. She based the toy’s appearance on a German gag gift called the Bild Lilli, introduced the Barbie® doll at the American International Toy Fair in New York, and the rest is history.
The Impact Of The Barbie® Doll
The Barbie® doll was such a landmark toy for the exact reason that Handler created her: it allowed kids to look to the future, rather than prepare for parenthood. This was especially important for how popular the doll is with aspirational young girls, as the Barbie® doll represents an independent woman living her dream life.
The Barbie® line has also been an incredible example of how iconic designs can evolve with the times without losing what originally made them special. Mattel has expanded the line to include more diversity in skin tone, body types, and hairstyles.
Alongside early-2000s fashion, the hot-pink aesthetic has come back in a big way in recent years. So luckily there’s no shortage of spots to celebrate the Barbie® doll in LA. These are some of our favorites:
World of Barbie is by far the best way to celebrate the Barbie® doll while reliving your childhood fantasies. The accessories you once played with have become life-sized, featuring a Dreamhouse you can walk through, a Camper Van that actually drives, and a Barbie® space shuttle ready for takeoff!
With all of this and more (not to mention the exclusive merchandise you won’t find anywhere else), World of Barbie has everything you need to play with Barbie® dolls like you only dreamed of. The experience will also be a blast for any kids who have Barbie® toys of their own and a great introduction for new fans!
Of course we have to shout out the Mattel store in El Segundo. It’s attached to the headquarters of Mattel itself, so you know they’re carrying only the best. The store carries all of the Mattel brands, from Barbie® to Hot Wheels®. This is also a great spot to find unique Barbie® dolls from tie-ins with Disney, Pixar, and more.
This pastel pink shop with neon lights and hand-painted artwork of baked goods feels like a Barbie® accessory come to life. And as stated on their website, Erin McKenna’s bakery has two rules:
- Create a bakery free of harmful ingredients.
- Wear cute uniforms.
The location delivers on both of those promises. They also cater to people with gluten, dairy, egg, and soy sensitivities, as well as those with food allergies.
Made famous by countless influencer selfies, the Pink Wall has become a mini landmark in LA. With plenty of influencers adopting the “Barbie® look,” now is the perfect time to throw on your brightest outfit and grab some pics at this hot-pink hotspot.
Described by its founder as “A life-sized dollhouse,” RagDoll Pink Palace is the perfect spot to channel your inner Barbie® doll. Full of bright pink furniture, trinkets, and clothes, RagDoll Pink Palace consists of seven spaces that are available to book for stunning photo shoots. One of the spaces is even called the Pink Barbie Living Room!
📍Central LA (specific location revealed upon booking)
The historic and picturesque hotel is full of photo ops, particularly around the pool area. And for the last six years the Beverly Hills Hotel has been home to the Le Refuge art piece by Marc Ange. Le Refuge—a flamingo-pink daybed sitting underneath pastel palm leaves—is so photogenic it looks like it should be sitting outside the Barbie® Dreamhouse itself!
There’s Plenty Of Ways To Celebrate! Whether you’re a lifelong fan or introducing a kid to the wonderful world of Barbie® dolls, LA is easily the best city to be her fan in. So while we all get ready for the upcoming Barbie movie, throw on your favorite pink clothes and start living the dream!