“I still have my Barbie, in her original box, packed perfectly with all her cute clothes and shoes. I think that Barbie taught us all a little about ourselves. I know I got mine way later than my friends did…I might have been as old as 12 or 13…because in my family, she was an extravagance, something to wait for until she could be afforded or earned by good girl-ness.

When I look in her box, I see some clothes that were the official Barbie originals, but many that were made by my grandmother. At the time, I always thought the ‘official’ clothes were cooler and that the handmade ones were, well, not for special occasions. Today, the ones Nanny made are my sweetest memories…the fact that she’s got that bubble hairdo places her squarely in my own history that I always worked for what I got and that nothing was just given to me–then or now.

And with all her feminist issues, she’s still working and trying to build girls’ dreams. So Happy Bday, Barbie. You’ve come into your own.”

Mary Lou Quinlan, founder and CEO of Just Ask a Woman and author of the best-selling book, “Just Ask a Woman, Cracking the Code of What Women Want and How They Buy” and “Time Off for Good Behavior:  How Hard-Working Women Can Take a Break and Change Their Lives.”