COLUMBUS, Ohio — Barbie is on full display at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in central Ohio.

What You Need To Know

  • The exhibit opened Oct. 4

  • Barbie started in 1969 

  • The exhibit was started by the Indiana Children's museum in partnership with Mattel 

Barbie was one of the first toys that showed that girls can do anything. In a time where careers were limited, Barbie took the world by storm and dared little girls to dream big and dream outside the box.

“Research actually shows that starting around the age of five, many girls start to develop self-limiting beliefs about themselves and about what they can grow up to do and to be,” said Kelli Kinzing, who serves as the senior project manager for COSI. 

While Ruth Handler created Barbie, Mattel has produced and created over 200 careers for the doll to pursue.

“Many Barbie collectors over the years will find lots of dolls that they had throughout the years,” said Kinzing. “So we have we have leader Barbies, we have adventure Barbies, we have nurture Barbies, all different categories.”

Mattel partnered with the Indiana Children’s Museum to curate the exhibit on display at COSI. When visitors first walk in they’re met with historic figures through time that encapsulate all that Barbie represents.

“Katherine Johnson, the person that allowed, the great senator John Glenn, to properly circumvent the earth safely,” said Frederic Bartley, who serves as the president and CEO of COSI. “She did this calculation by hand. as a Black female mathematician.” 

As visitors continue to walk through they realize all the different types of Barbies and careers the world has to offer. They have the opportunity to be chef, a wildlife photographer, a pilot and more. The new exhibit reminds everyone that nothing can stop them from living their dreams.

“Regardless of gender, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of your background, you can do whatever you want to do,” said Kinzing. “You can pursue different careers and really, as long as it's something that excites you, if it's something that you are passionate about, you can make the world a better place every single day by helping all of those around you and whatever you choose to do.”

The Barbie exhibit is now open to the public and is included with regular admission. The “Creatures of Light, Natures Bioluminescence” will open later this month and a few new exhibits will be unveiled early next year.