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This is the doll that Barbie was modeled after

Updated: May 5

Meet Lilli, the doll that inspired the creation of #Barbie.

The first-ever Barbie doll was inspired by a real girl. Ruth Handler was inspired to create a doll when she watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls.

Ruth Handler, who co-founder of Mattel alongside her husband Elliot in 1945, was inspired to design Barbie after observing her daughter. Instead of playing with baby dolls, her daughter preferred paper dolls that resembled adult women.

This observation highlighted a longing among young girls to engage with imaginative play beyond motherhood.

At the time, the only existing adult-like doll was the German Lilli, intended for a male audience. Lilli was based on a comic-strip character, who was a high-end call girl.

Since her inception, Barbie has taken on countless professions. However, she's never done Lilli's job.


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