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Barbie Commercials, a Blast from the Past

We went scouting out Barbie commercials on YouTube & thought they might bring back as many memories for you as they did for us.

This is the first Barbie commercial, from 1959. According to the poster, it was shown during the Mickey Mouse club.

The heartwarming story of how Barbie met Ken at a dance. "And somehow she knew that she and Ken would be going together." Modern ears may chuckle at the thought of Ken taking Barbie along to fraternity parties.

Barbie gets a tan ... and even more blonde.

Now this is getting into my era of Barbie doll. I had some of the dolls from this series, and they were all dressed like cheap imitations of Borderline-era Madonna. Diva, the redheaded Rocker, was always my favorite. Every Rocker came with a cassette tape, which my poor grandmother was made to listen to over and over until we both knew all the words ("Born with a Mic in Our Hands" was my favorite, and I remember way too many of the words, to this day. How can I reclaim that space in my brain to use for something more important?!)

Another gem from the 80's, when Barbie was still allowed to be blatantly obssessed with being thin. (Ooh, did I say Jem? Truly outrageous, but that's another show) I received this Barbie for my 8th birthday, which was also notable for being the birthday where I ate too much strawberry cake and drank too much big red, and puked it all up while my friends were sacked out in their sleeping bags. Good thing this Barbie's leotard was blue; I had an aversion to pink for months afterward.

Now this Barbie is after my time. And I'm certainly not complaining about that. This commercial's from 1992, and Barbie was ahead of the curve on this one, folks - Limp Bizkit wasn't formed until 1994.

Bringing it all back around to the "teenage fashion model" ideal, this Top Model Barbie commercial is from 2007.

So 'fess up. How many Barbies did you have? Which ones do you remember? And how many times did you decide to give Barbie a haircut, only to regret it later when she ended up looking like a mangy hyena?

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.