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Federal Eye: On 50th Birthday, a Look at Barbie’s Federal Jobs

Today marks the 50th birthday of Barbie, who first appeared at the American International Toy Fair on this date in 1959. Always eager to be up to date on the latest pop culture trends or anniversaries, The Eye learned that the doll has inspired more than 1,000 YouTube channels, at least 300 Facebook fan pages and that 90 percent of girls ages 3 to 10 own at least one of the dolls, according to Mattel, its manufacturer.

But perhaps best of all, Barbie can claim more than 100 careers, several of them at the federal level: Astronaut Barbie appeared on store shelves in 1965, 1986 and 1994. She worked to achieve world peace as a “Summit Diplomat” in 1990. The plastic plaything has held several positions with the U.S. military, serving with the Army in 1989 and 1993, donning Air Force wings twice in 1990 and 1994, sailing with the Navy in 1991 and then joining the ranks of the Marines in 1992.

Barbie is also a four-time candidate for president: in 1992, 2000, 2004 (as an African-American candidate) and 2008. She’s also appeared as a teacher, zoologist, police officer and doctor. These are not necessarily federal positions, but certainly rewarding public sector careers.

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Profile Photo Dennis McDonald

Unfortunately Barbie, when attempting to use usajobs.gov to apply for a new Federal job, discovered that she couldn’t upload her scanned college transcripts using her laptop running XP and Firefox. “I couldn’t understand it,” she said, wiping a tiny tear from her cold, shiny plastic skin. “I need to prove that I really DO have degrees in homemaking and nuclear engineering, but the system just won’t upload my files!” Later on, having hired a consultant (first name Midge) who is more savvy in web related affairs, she discovered how to do the upload. Midge explained: “Barbie didn’t realize that she needed to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to upload her transcript. Once I figured that out — I had trouble using Safari, too — she was able to get on with her application.”

Profile Photo Patt Franc

AARP Card Barbie is going to be the hottest Mattel product this year. Buy one now and qualify for member discounts and updates on money matters, health, leisure and travel….and interesting stats…. At 50, Barbie is the world’s highest-earning doll, with $1.2 billion in annual revenue. Did you know? Women’s median annual income for full-time work in 1959: $3,200 ($23,360 in today’s dollars). Today: $35,102 for all women; $20,810 for women ages 55 to 64. Guess the next Barbie needs to be a Congresswoman so she can Co-Sponsor and help pass the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2009.