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Women’s measurements


Barbie 1959The perfect woman was considered to be 36-24-36, measuring chest, waist and hips in inches.

According to Size USA, women’s measurements in 2004 averaged 40 inches in the bust, 34 inches in the waist and 43 inches in the  hips. In 1941, the average woman’s measurements were about 35-27-37. (The 1941 study primarily measured white women; Size  USA included women of all races and determined that African-American and Hispanic women tended to be larger than white and  Asian women.)

Barbie’s measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33

Created in 1959 by Ruth Handler, and named after her daughter Barbara, Barbie was an instant success. First sold at the American Toy Fair in New York City, Barbie can now be found and purchased around the world. The cost and value of the Barbie, however, depends greatly upon which Barbie you are seeking to buy.

There are a great amount of collectible Barbie’s these days that sell anywhere from $25, all the way up to an obscene $85,000 for the Diamond Barbie. For right now though, we are going to focus on the one vintage Barbie that everyone wants to own – the original 1959 Barbie doll.

The original Barbie, (or Barbie #1 as she is called), was sold at the above-mentioned American Toy Fair for a mere $3.00. Her value now ranges in-between $8,000-$12,000. So, how can you tell if you own a true vintage Barbie doll? Look for the following identification marks:



Hair: Blonde or brunette ponytail with curled bangs

Eyes: White irises in her eyes, she is looking sideways, and has very pointy eyebrows

Clothes: Black and white zebra striped 1-piece swimming suit. White sunglasses with blue lenses. Black open-toed high heel shoes.

Jewelry: Gold hoop earrings

Body: Partially solid with metal tubes in her legs. She has matching metal holes in the bottoms of her feet to fit on a doll stand.

Other markings: Right side buttock, Barbie ™ (not Barbie ®), may have other small markings on back and inner arms and thighs from production. Her right foot is marked “Japan”.

Most common female body shapes

The following are the four most common female body shapes:

Apple (triangle downward)
Apple-shaped women have broader shoulders and bust, and narrower hips.

Banana, or straight (rectangular)
Banana-shaped women’s waist measurement is less than 9 inches smaller than the hip or bust measurement.

Pear, Spoon, or Bell (triangle upward)
Pear-shaped women’s hip measurements are greater than their bust measurements.

Hourglass Shape (triangles opposing, facing in)
Here, the hip and bust are almost of equal size, with a narrow waist.

A study of more than 6,000 women conducted at North Carolina State University in 2005 revealed that 46% of women were banana-shaped; just over 20% were pear-shaped; just under 14% were apple-shaped; and only 8% were hourglass-shaped. The hourglass is normally accepted as the “ideal” female shape in Western countries.

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