Thu, March 12, 2009
Lifestyle > Fashion > Barbie Turns 50

Barbie speaks

2009-03-12 07:05:49 GMT2009-03-12 15:05:49 (Beijing Time)  Forbes

It takes over 100 people to make a Barbie

It takes over 100 people to make a Barbie

An interview with the world's most famous doll.

To mark the occasion of Barbie's 50th birthday, Forbes conducted the following interview with the famous blond bombshell, through her representatives at toy company Mattel.

Forbes: You're the most popular doll in the world. How do you keep it real?

Barbie: At the end of the day my best friends are little girls, so, truthfully, they help me keep it real. On any given day they take me on all sorts of imaginative adventures--from a princess to a president, movie star to mermaid, fashionista to fairy--so I really can't take myself that seriously.

You've had 108 different careers. Which was the most satisfying?

I am a big believer in dreaming big and inspiring girls that they can do anything they set their minds to. Being an astronaut in 1965 was very satisfying because--for one, traveling to space was, literally, out of this world--and, secondly, I went to space before any other American woman astronaut, so that's something I'm very proud of. I'm also very proud of all my philanthropic work--from UNICEF Ambassador (1989) to Candy Stripe Volunteer (1964).

Share your favorite Barbie memory! Send it to us at A selection will be published on the site this spring.

As a woman known for her extraordinary beauty, how have your looks affected your career?

No matter what the situation, you should always put your best "heel" forward ... being well put together and well-groomed is something everyone can benefit from. As I always say, "Dream big ... in pink heels!"

You and Ken dated for 43 years. Do you regret not marrying or having children?

Ken is a very good friend now. He has been by my side for decades, and he will always be a part of my life. I truly don't have any regrets--I have lots of younger siblings and so many friends with kids that it's like one big happy Barbie family. Now, you may have seen me in a lot of different designer wedding gowns, but don't get any ideas--I just love trying them on ... always a bride but never a Mrs.!

Are you currently dating anyone?

I'm just too busy for boyfriends or marriage these days. Right now, I'm concentrating on my careers and projects ... this year alone I'll be starring in two new made-for-DVD movies, trying out a few new careers like a SeaWorld Trainer and planning all my 50th birthday bashes around the world. It's a busy year!

Has your Barbie Dream House been affected by the real estate crash?

Luckily Malibu is a pretty stable market ... and my Malibu Dream House just had a fabulous re-design by my good friend Jonathan Adler. The house turned out so amazing that Jonathan and I decided to collaborate on a line of real home décor pieces called Jonathan Adler Loves Barbie so people can have a little bit of Barbie style to create their very own Dream House! The collection comes out this fall.

You ran for president in 1992. When do you think we'll see the first American female president?

I've actually run for president three times, and we women will keep on running! I really believe the day is soon--2012 could be the year!

You own countless pairs of shoes and outfits made by over 70 famous designers. Can a woman ever have too many pairs of shoes?

To be completely honest, it seems I'm always losing a shoe! So, no, no such thing as too many! Plus, they're just so tiny that my closet holds tons!

It takes over 100 people to make you. Do you consider yourself high maintenance?

You don't just roll out of bed looking like this! Some say high maintenance--some say well-coiffed. I do have to say a big thank you to all the big people. Thank you to my amazing design team--they are all very talented to make me--just an 11-1/2-inch plastic doll--into a fashion icon.

In 1959 you sold for $3. Today that same doll sells for $27,000. What's your advice for people looking to similarly increase their net worth?

It just might be the way to invest in today's market!

Every girl goes through an awkward phase. What is one time you look back on and shudder?

Gosh ... bell bottoms to scrunchies, shoulder pads to acid wash jeans, crimped hair to blue eye shadow--I've done it all, huh? I have to admit that none of the looks in particular make me cringe too much as they're all just so "of the moment." That's one of the things I'm actually most proud of ... at any moment in history being a reflection of fashion, culture and aspiration. Although the leg warmers really weren't my best look...

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