TIME Business

13 Fascinating Careers You Never Knew Barbie Had

From rapping to campaigning, Barbie has done it all

Barbie has a resume that even the most accomplished high-achievers would envy.

Her first-ever job was as a “Teenage Fashion Model” in 1959, but she soon broke boundaries in male-dominated fields, playing Major League Baseball, programming computers and rising to the rank of sergeant in the Marine Corps. She has even made a foray into space travel, reaching the moon in 1965, years before Neil Armstrong’s famous first steps.

This week, as dedicated fans of Barbie gather in Washington, D.C. to kick off the 2015 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention, TIME is revisiting some of Barbie’s 150-plus careers over the years. Here’s a sampling of her most memorable ones:

  • 1. Executive ‘Career Girl’ Barbie, 1963

    1963 Executive (Career Girl)
    Mattel 1963 Executive (Career Girl)

    Outfitted in a tweed skirt suit and gloves, Barbie had her first stint as a corporate exec in 1963 — a time when women were almost entirely absent from top-level roles in companies and were making 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. She must’ve liked the job, considering that she’s taken it up three more times since, with the latest Business Executive Barbie released in 1999.

  • 2. Astronaut Barbie, 1965

    1965 Astronaut
    Mattel 1965 Astronaut

    Barbie’s first space voyage in 1965 took her to the moon a full four years before Neil Armstrong, and over a decade ahead of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. She has since made two more missions and has even taken her talents to Space Camp to educate the next generation in a partnership with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala..

  • 3. UNICEF Ambassador Barbie, 1989

    unicef barbie

    Taking a page from Audrey Hepburn, who served as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF from 1989 until her death in 1993, Barbie became one herself in 1989. The undertaking rounded out a decade of diversity in her career, including stints as an aerobics instructor, a rock star, and an officer in the U.S. Army.

  • 4. Rap Musician Barbie, 1992

    Barbie first became a singer in 1961, but her musical talents have since expanded. In 1992, she made her rap debut as “Rappin’ Rockin’ Barbie” with her boom box in tow, and shared her street cred with the world in a memorable commercial. Unfortunately, this is one career she hasn’t since revisited.

  • 5. Marine Corps Sergeant Barbie, 1992

    1992 Marine Corps Sergeant
    Mattel 1992 Marine Corps Sergeant

    Barbie made history in 1989 when she first joined the military as an officer in the U.S. Army, but to date her 1992 position as a sergeant in the Marine Corps is the highest rank she’s held in the Armed Forces. As a sergeant, Barbie would’ve had a great deal of responsibility directing eight soldiers in combat operations as their squad leader.

  • 6. Presidential Candidate Barbie, 1992

    1992 Presidential Candidate
    Mattel 1992 Presidential Candidate

    Long before Hillary Clinton hit the campaign trail, Barbie made her first bid for President, joining the fictional ’92 race. No word on how she fared in her first election, but she has since made four more bids for the Oval Office—the latest of which was in 2012.

  • 7. Paleontologist Barbie, 1997

    So nice she did it twice! Barbie followed up her first foray into paleontology in 1997 with another in 2012. Both times she proved that she wasn’t afraid to get her hands (or her signature pink flair) dirty working with dinosaur fossils.

  • 8. Major League Baseball Player Barbie, 1998


    To date there has never been a woman in the MLB (though that could be changing soon), but Barbie is always a step ahead of the game. In 1998 she made her MLB debut, with different editions for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. That same year the Yankees won the World Series—surely thanks in part to the help of their newest teammate.

  • 9. WNBA Player Barbie, 1998

    1998 WNBA Player
    Mattel 1998 WNBA Player

    Barbie added “baller” to her resume in 1998 when she joined the WNBA as No. 1 at a fictional Dallas team, though this was far from her first stint in sports. She made her Olympic debut in 1975, and throughout her long career she’s sampled everything from Olympic gymnastics (1996) to World Cup soccer (1999).

  • 10. American Idol Winner Barbie, 2005

    2005 American Idol Winner
    Mattel 2005 American Idol Winner

    American Idol introduced the world to Carrie Underwood when she took home the title in 2005, but Barbie took it upon herself to rewrite history when a version of the doll was unveiled as an American Idol competitor the same year. With Britney Spears’ hit “Oops! … I Did It Again” as her audition song, she squared off against friends Tori and Simone for the top spot, with more than 700,000 fans voting for a winner on the company’s website. No word on what Randy, Paula and Simon thought of her performance, though.

  • 11. SeaWorld Trainer Barbie, 2009

    2009 Sea World Trainer
    Mattel 2009 Sea World Trainer

    Back when Barbie first joined the team at SeaWorld it was still a tourist favorite, but following the release of the explosive documentary Blackfish in 2013, the park is no longer beloved by the public, or Barbie herself for that matter. In April 2015 ,Mattel was lauded by animal rights groups for ending the production of its SeaWorld Trainer dolls.

  • 12. Computer Engineer Barbie, 2010

    2010 Computer Engineer
    Mattel 2010 Computer Engineer

    In 2010, Barbie wanted a hot tech job, but she found herself in hot water instead when a companion book entitled Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer went viral a few years later, with critics saying that it was sexist. Thought Barbie was described in the book as a computer engineer creating a new game, it turns out that she needs the help of two male colleagues, Steven and Brian, to actually make the final product. Backlash was severe, and Mattel apologized, pulling the book from shelves soon after.

  • 13. Arctic Rescuer Barbie, 2012

    Barbie was a long way from Malibu in her 2012 role as an arctic rescuer, but she made herself at home with a pink snowmobile and matching igloo for her pets.

TIME celebrity

This Picture of Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence On a Jet Ski Is the Definition of Joy

The best friendship of our dreams is becoming a reality

A few weeks ago, Amy Schumer shared her priceless reaction to Jennifer Lawrence merely uttering Schumer’s name. Fast-forward to right now, and the two of them are apparently besties.

We know this because Schumer posted a photo on Instagram Thursday that showed the two women riding a Jet Ski together:

Jlaw #maniac

A photo posted by @amyschumer on

Of course J-Law is driving, of course Schumer is calling her a maniac, and of course Schumer has the wild-eyed grin of someone having the time of her life.

We can only imagine that the pair are on vacation together celebrating the success of Schumer’s movie Trainwreck. We also hope they’re taking this opportunity to kick around ideas for a new movie in which they play sisters. Make it happen, ladies.

TIME viral

Watch 1000 Musicians Play ‘Learn to Fly’ to Inspire Dave Grohl to Do a Concert in Italy

A thousand musicians appear to have learned how to play the Foo Fighters’ song “Learn to Fly” together in an effort to inspire Dave Grohl to come and play in Cesena, Italy. The website “Rockin’ 1000″ claims the group has not been to Romagna since 1997. These diehard fans had to raise 44,000 euros (nearly $50,000) in a crowdfunding campaign to pull off the stunt. Now it is just a question of whether the Foo Fighters or Dave Grohl will see the video and post on social media that he will be there — or not.

TIME celebrity

Taylor Swift Just Shared More Behind-the-Scenes Clips From the ‘Bad Blood’ Video

Featuring Karlie Kloss and Hayley Williams

Taylor Swift released her epic star-studded music video for “Bad Blood” more than two months ago, but she’s still sharing all kinds of behind-the-scenes footage and stunt fails.

Her latest behind-the-scenes clips, which she posted on Instagram Wednesday, feature her pals Karlie Kloss and Hayley Williams.

“We just came up with my name: Knockout. We’re badass spies training together and we’re not messing around,” the supermodel Kloss explains.

"We just came up with my name: Knockout." @karliekloss Don't forget to vote for VMAs!

A video posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

“My character, she is The Crimson Curse,” Williams, lead singer of Paramore, explains in another clip.

"My character… She is The Crimson Curse." @yelyahwilliams

A video posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

TIME Television

Watch Jason Segel and Jimmy Fallon Teach a Master Class on Ridiculous Conversations

It's all part of a game called Word Sneak

On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night, actor Jason Segel joined Fallon for a game of “Word Sneak,” in which the two are challenged to insert random words into a normal conversation. When Segel is tasked with using the word “Mongoose,” he says he wants to head down South to check out “mongeese,” while Fallon talks about doing a “squat thrust” in Norway to communicate with the locals.

The actor appeared on the late-night show to promote his starring role as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, out in theaters July 31.


TIME Internet

These #NewHarryPotterBooks Won’t Be Coming to a Bookstore Near You

Twitter call for suggestions leads to inspired titles like "Harry Potter and the Fault in Our Scars"

Comedy Central’s @midnight made Harry Potter nerds’ dreams come true on Wednesday when the show started #NewHarryPotterBooks on Twitter, and encouraged fans to jump in with their suggestions.

J.K. Rowling has said over and over again that she won’t write anymore Harry Potter books, but that didn’t stop readers from assuming the hashtag meant another one was in the works. Yes, there was an online contingency that freaked out, but unfortunately “Harry Potter and The People Who Misunderstood A Hashtag And Were Severely Disappointed” will not be hitting local bookstores. Those who did jump in actually came up with some good titles that we wouldn’t mind reading. Check out the best ones:

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Television

Jimmy Kimmel’s Plea for Cecil the Lion Leads to More than $150,000 in Donations

The late night host's emotional segment paid off in a big way for Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit

When late night host Jimmy Kimmel made an emotional plea on his show on Tuesday night that the death of 13-year-old Zimbabwean lion Cecil not be in vain, an outpouring of support was to be expected, but the magnitude of that generosity proved remarkable.

According to The Wrap, Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit—whose website was flashed on the screen for 25 seconds at the end of Kimmel’s segment on Cecil the Lion—netted more than $150,000 donations from 2,600 people in less than 24 hours. The unit had been responsible for tracking Cecil’s whereabouts until his untimely demise.

“Jimmy Kimmel implored his millions of listeners in the U.S.A. to make donations to support our work on lions, and conservation more widely,” Wildlife Conservation Research Unit director David McDonald said on the organization’s website. “We are so grateful for this and for the up-welling of support for our work worldwide.”

Cecil the Lion was killed on July 1 by American dentist Walter Palmer and two local guides. Palmer has been on the receiving end of mass vitriol from PETA, celebrities and social media users.

[The Wrap]

TIME animals

These Might Be the Smartest Animals in the World

A hamster on a trapeze, a chicken on a tightrope and a pig who can give himself a bath--anything is possible when there's food on the other side

A goat boxed with a young boy while a raccoon played the piano and two rabbits reenacted a scene from Romeo and Juliet. Though the I.Q. Zoo in Hot Springs, Ark., might have appeared to be a roadside gimmick, it was actually an important study in psychology and animal behavior. Husband-and-wife team Marian and Keller Breland were not circus showrunners, but rather the first-ever applied animal psychologists.

After determining punishment to be an ineffective motivator, even though it was then a common method in animal training, the Brelands focused their training on the provision of rewards for successfully completed tasks. Both had studied under the eminent behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, but abandoned graduate study to test the commercial potential of their work. They formed a company, Animal Behavior Enterprises, and later the I.Q. Zoo, to apply principles of human behavior to animals and make an income from that work.

Together, the Brelands appeared on television, traveled to fairs and theme parks, and published an influential article on animal behavior, “The Misbehavior of Organisms.” The paper’s title was both a reference and, controversially, a challenge to Skinner’s earlier article, “The Behavior of Organisms.”

Though LIFE introduced them in 1955 as “Psychologist Keller Breland and his wife,” Marian was the one who would go on to a long career, after Keller’s was cut short by a fatal heart attack in 1965. She went on finish her Ph.D., become a professor at the University of Arkansas and marry Robert E. Bailey, who had served as the Director of Training for the Navy’s Marine Animal Program and with whom she would continue to train animals and offer workshops.

Different animals at the I.Q. Zoo, which remained open into the 1990s, performed differently under pressure. “Despite apparent stupidity,” LIFE wrote, “chickens are among the easiest creatures to train.” As for the trapeze-swinging hamster, “He occasionally falls but remains undaunted.” But perhaps the hardest worker was the pig, who, after being trained to clean up a messy room, was so eager to please that he tried to drag the photographer’s light stand to the trash.

Trainers Marian and Dr. Keller Breland with their pet hamster, 1955.
Joseph Scherschel—The LIFE Picture CollectionTrainers Marian and Dr. Keller Breland with their pet hamster.


Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME Music

See Tyler, The Creator Rap The New Dr. Seuss Book

It was for a segment on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

It seems everyone was excited about Dr. Seuss’s new book What Pet Should I Get, especially rapper Tyler, the Creator.

He was so excited, in fact, that on Jimmy Kimmel Live he donned a full Cat-in-the-Hat suit and rapped the entire new book. Although maybe it was more Kimmel’s excitement than Tyler’s: he finishes the verse by saying, “Jimmy Kimmel, this segment was wack.”

What Pet Should I Get was released in July; the previously unpublished manuscript become the first new Dr. Seuss book since its author’s death in 1991.

TIME animals

This Adorable Teddy Bear Dog Is About to Take Over the Internet

Meet Tonkey!

When it comes to top cuddle buddies, teddy bears and cute dogs are pretty much neck-and-neck for first place.

But what if you didn’t have to choose?

Enter Tonkey, the Insta-famous pup who seems to be part plush toy and part canine. She has recently soared to Instagram fame with her Instagram account, @bearcoat_tonkey. Really, she’s 100% Shar Pei, but followers are convinced she’s got some sort of bear DNA in there.

What she really has is a plush coat, which is rare for the breed – both of a dog’s parents must possess a recessive gene for the pups to inherit Tonkey’s signature fuzz.

Head so big Tonkey just taking a break from holding it up😂😓

A photo posted by Tonkey Bear (@bearcoat_tonkey) on

She’s just four months old, but has already amassed quite the following on Instagram with nearly 119,000 followers. Keep in mind, this account has only been active for eight weeks.

Tonkey’s owner, Christine Park, told BoredPanda that she started the account as a way to make friends, but fears that she’s quickly been surpassed by her too-cute pooch.

It’s easy to see why Park is nervous about her dog’s growing popularity. Tonkey has the adorable pet thing down pat.

Whether she’s walking down the stairs – (or at least, attempting to).

Or running errands with a pal…

Or even just taking a leisurely dip in the tub…

Tonkey’s clearly got the making of super-dog-dom.

This fluff ball may be captivating the internet, but at home, she shares the spotlight with sister Maxi.

Max, Tonkey, and Tonkey's mouth towel ☔. . . #tonkey #the #walking #puddle 🐻

A photo posted by Tonkey Bear (@bearcoat_tonkey) on

Four months old, and already an internet sensation. Don’t be surprised if you see Tonkey taking the path of the pioneer Instafamous pup, Boo. We’re talking stuffed animals, books, phone cases – c’mon, you’d buy it too.

This article originally appeared on People.com

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