MADISON, Wis. — Like the highly anticipated ‘Barbie’ moviehere’s a little-known fact: Barbie is from Wisconsin.
“Mattel originally released a series of books about Barbie in the ’60s, and those books identified her as a high school graduate in Willows, Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Historical Society state archivist Abbie Norderhaug.
Yes, even according to Barbie’s website, she’s from Willows, Wisconsin, though how long she lived in the fictional town has changed over the years.
“In the 2000s, 2010s her story changed a little bit. She moved from Willows when she was 8,” added Norderhaug.
The Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison has a Barbie collection dating back to 1961. That’s two years after she originally debuted in the same iconic black and white striped bathing suit. The museum also has a Barbie dressed in a University of Wisconsin-Madison cheerleader uniform.
“Is there any clue in Barbie’s history why Wisconsin?” 12 News Hannah Hilyard asked Norderhaug.
“Not in the history of Barbie that we’ve been able to find,” she replied. “We sort of believe that Wisconsin is often seen as a classic American state with a lot of tradition and a lot of ties to popular culture.”
The historical society’s Barbie collection is currently off display, but anyone can see “Barbie” in theaters, starting in select theaters this Thursday.
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