Now, Barbie is taking over the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the first ever exhibition in France which is dedicated to the doll. Since she was created in 1959 by Ruth Handler, Barbie has become as much a 20th century icon of pop culture as her non-plastic contemporaries. Love her or loathe her, Mattel's 2016 redesign of Barbie, which sees her represented in a range of skin tones and body shapes, proving that she is well and truly a 21st century woman.

February 2016 cover of Time Magazine Image via Time Magazine February 2016 cover of Time Magazine
Image via Time Magazine

2016 Fashionista range Image via Barbie/Mattel 2016 Fashionista range
Image via Barbie/Mattel

 

Photo from Barbie's Instagram @barbiestyle, 2015 © Mattel Photo from Barbie's Instagram @barbiestyle, 2015
© Mattel

Early on in her career, Barbie was often stereotyped, as she assumed the roles of an American Airlines stewardess, model and singer. Barbie's career prospects took a u-turn from the 1980s onwards, when Mattel portrayed Barbie as an Olympic skater and a presidential candidate, amongst many other empowering female roles.

From 10th March to 18th September 2016, around 700 Barbie models will be on display at Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Andy Warhol, Barbie, 1985 © Mattel Andy Warhol, Barbie, 1985
© Mattel

The exhibition, which is sponsored by Mattel, includes dolls and dresses from the Mattel archives as well as contemporary works by artists and documents contextualizing "the lives of Barbie."

For more information about Barbie® at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, see here.

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