"Every little girl needed a doll through which to project herself into her dream of her future. If she was going to do role playing of what she would be like when she was 16 or 17, it was a little stupid to play with a doll that had a flat chest."
Ruth introduced Barbie as an alternative to baby dolls. Her 1959 original was the first 3-D doll with breasts, an anatomical distinction that was important to Ruth but made her controversial with parents.
Ruth's brainchild ~ named for her own daughter, Barbara ~ was based on an adult doll she had seen in Germany while on a family tour of Europe. The male leaders of Mattel didn't think the sexy adult doll ~ clad in a strapless swimsuit + stilettos ~ would fly with mothers + girls. But, Ruth had a hunch that the mid-century woman was ready for a break from a female ideal epitomized by the squeaky-clean, perfect mother June Cleaver. Ruth's intuition proved right, and Barbie became Mattel's best-selling toy.