15 careers in the travel industry that Barbie has had since 1959


Did you have a Barbie when you were younger? Barbie was born in 1959, so many of us have grown up with the doll in our lives. Whether we own one or our sisters or cousins ​​have one, very few people have not had a Barbie in their life.

Barbie has been an inspiration to many people who have discovered the new careers possible for women. Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Barbie, realized that girls did not have model dolls to play with and created Barbie with the goal of inspiring girls to pursue the job of their dreams. By playing with a doll, young girls could be anything they wanted and they had choices in their careers.

The Indianapolis Children’s Museum provided free admission for our visit. All opinions are mine.

Robin o’neal smith

Barbie was a pioneer

Barbie was a trailblazer, often promoting a career that was not the norm for women. She became an astronaut in 1965, years before humans landed on the moon, or before we had female astronauts. She also decided to run for president in the 90s, giving girls the idea that they could be anything, even president.

Barbie through the years, exhibition of different barbies and her costumes.
Robin o’neal smith

A real job hopper

Barbie has changed jobs more than anyone. Since its inception, Barbie has had over 200 different careers including pilot, doctor, flight attendant, astronaut, equestrian, climber, and computer programmer. Of the 200 careers, at least 15 of them were travel-related jobs.

You can be a leading sign.
Robin o’neal smith

Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience

The Indianapolis Children’s Museum is a great place to learn more about Barbie and several of her careers. He currently has the Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience exhibit that shows Barbie through the years and showcases various jobs she’s had and careers young girls can aspire to.

Before you poop in a children’s museum, let me assure you that this museum is for all ages. I spent a whole day there and didn’t see or do everything. It offers activities and exhibitions for all ages, from Barbie to Beyond Earth Spaceship To The world of sport To Scientific work.

Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience The exhibit will be at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis until March 22. Then she will begin a 5 year tour across North America.

The exhibit allows you to see various Barbie dolls over the years and tells how Ruth Handler created the iconic Barbie doll. It lets you explore 11 careers a little deeper and learn from amazing women who have broken glass ceilings and other barriers for women throughout history.

Amelia information board.
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Workshops to inspire young girls

The exhibition offers three different workshops in a closed glass room. Barbie you can be anything! is led by a motivational speaker who helps inspire young women and their families to focus on future opportunities and careers.

Up close: women change the world is the second area where girls can hear the stories of inspiring female role models.

The third is the Dare to dream – Future You. It’s a workshop style class that helps girls create an empowering vision board for their BIG dreams.

Pilot deck with two wheels and two chairs.
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Life-size practical activities

The entrance to the Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience is a hot pink wall with quotes from Ruth Handler in large bold print.

There are several Barbie dolls in the display case, and my first Barbie was one of them. A large, bright pink arch invites you into the exhibit with life-size Barbies dressed in career clothing on either side of the entrance.

Once inside, I was amazed at the size of the exhibit. It was huge and featured various Barbie displays and lots of hands-on activities.

Barbie: you can be a pilot is a life-size replica of an airplane’s cockpit, and there are seats for a pilot and co-pilot to represent piloting an airplane.

Then there is the Barbie: you can be a climber, and it includes a climbing wall with flashing lights under some of the rocks.

Author, Robin stands on a pink surfboard.
Michael P. Smith

Barbie: you can be a surfer was another life-size exhibit with a giant wave as a backdrop and a surfboard that you could balance on to pretend surfing.

Author, Robin in the life-size Jeep Barbie.
Michael P. Smith

My favorite was the full-size pink jeep in the Barbie: you can be a wildlife photographer. It was also popular with the children who visited.

Other areas featured jobs in different categories and displayed each other’s Barbies.

Barbie exhibition
Robin o’neal smith

Barbie’s travel careers

Back to Barbie and her travel-related careers, let’s take a look at the jobs she’s had.

1. Barbie flight attendant, 1961

Hostess Barbie was dressed as an American Airlines flight attendant from 1961 to 1964, then a Pan American flight attendant in 1966.

2. Barbie Open Road, 1961

Barbie went on a trip alone with her trusty map and sunglasses, encouraging women to travel.

3. Astronaut Barbie, 1965

Barbie became an astronaut 4 years before anyone walked on the moon and before women were allowed to participate in the space program. Astronaut Barbie was updated in 1985. A Barbie Sally Ride, inspired by the astronaut as she appeared in June 1983 when she was the first woman in space, was released in 2019 as part from the “Inspiring Women” collection.

4. Barbie, flight attendant, 1973

The flight attendant Barbie made her flight attendant debut on American Airlines from 1973 to 1975. She had an update in 1989 and her outfit represented Flight Time.

5. Barbie pilot, 1990

The Barbie Pilot took off in 1990 and was updated in 1999 by the Virgin Atlantic Barbie Pilot.

6. Barbie Scuba Diving, 1994

Barbie became a scuba diver and traveled to various lakes and oceans to dive.

7. Paleontologist, 1997

Barbie traveled the world digging up dinosaurs as a paleontologist in 1997.

8. Barbie Tour Guide, 1999

Tour Guide Barbie was a special edition in 1999.

9. Barbie Explorer of Ocean Treasures, 2013

Barbie has once again scoured the oceans in search of treasures and underwater exploration.

10. Barbie at the resort reception, 2016

Barbie was dressed in an outfit representing Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

11. Barbie climber, 2017

The Rock Climber Barbie inspired girls to take up the new hobby of rock climbing and travel to state and national parks to enjoy the hobby.

12. Barbie travel doll, 2019

This Barbie came with everything a traveler would need. Suitcase, backpack, headphones, neck pillow, etc.

13. Photojournalist Barbie, 2019

If Barbie wasn’t traveling before, she started traveling the world in 2019 as National Geographic Photojournalist.

Mattel has partnered with National Geographic inspire girls to consider various careers involving the travel industry and science underrepresented by women. The goal was to show kids interested in travel, conservation and science that Barbie can be a role model for them.

14. Polar marine biologist, 2019

Another Barbie inspired by National Geographic takes Barbie to the Arctic.

15. Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew Barbie, 2019

Mattel teamed up with Virgin Atlantic to create a realistic Barbie Cabin Crew showcasing the Virgin Atlantic uniforms.

Not ready for retirement

Although Barbie is 62, she has no plans to retire anytime soon. Last month Mattel launched a new Barbie 2021 career as a music producer. More career Barbies will be released in 2022.

Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience was like stepping back in time for me. I received my first Barbie in 1963. She had short, black curly hair. The following year, I received a Ken doll and then the Barbie car. I remember having a Barbie house and buying other dolls with long hair. I requested different career outfits for Barbie over Christmas. Back then, there wasn’t as much choice, but the memories are vivid. Barbie has inspired and empowered millions of young girls over the years.

If you had a Barbie when you were younger, you would appreciate the memories that Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience the exhibition inspires.

Barbie the Adventurer sign.
Robin o’neal smith

If you plan to visit

If you are planning to visit the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, be aware that the museum has several stories and a significant march involved. There are elevators, wide aisles and everything is accessible. The indoor exhibitions are open year round, the outdoor sports area and Tree of Sports are open from March to November. Hours vary seasonally, so be sure to check their website before your visit.

Pro tip: The Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience will only be in Indianapolis until March 2022. The Dinosphere exhibit will reopen in the spring of 2022.

Discover these other museums with unique exhibitions:

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