Barbie celebrates her 55th birthday -- Hollywood style

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    Barbie: Fashion and pop-culture icon

    From her debut 55 years ago to today, Barbie has been reinvented over the years as everything from characters from favorite movies to pop icons like Marilyn Monroe.

  • Barbie: Fashion and pop-culture icon

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    Barbie: A fashion, entertainment and pop-culture icon -

    From her debut 55 years ago to today, Barbie has been reinvented over the years as everything from characters from favorite movies to pop icons like Marilyn Monroe.

    The latest transformation has been by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, who has dressed Barbie in a stunning nude silk-an- tulle gown with black beading from his spring-summer 2012 couture collection. The dress was also worn on the red carpet by actress Blake Lively at the premiere of "Savages."

    Barbie, Getty Images / Barbie, Getty Images
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    Tris doll -

    The Tris "Divergent" Barbie doll, part of Barbie's 2014 Hollywood collection, also has tattoos. (Right) Shailene Woodley plays Beatrice "Tris" Prior.

    Barbie, Summit Entertainment / Barbie, Summit Entertainment
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    'Die Another Day' doll -

    This Barbie doll pays tribute to a favorite Bond Girl. "Die Another Day" finds James Bond joining forces with Jinx, an NSA spy. Brave, bold, and beautiful, she is Bond’s perfect match. Together, they save the world from North Korean terrorists and an orbiting space laser. (Right) Halle Berry plays Jinx in the 2002 movie.

    Barbie, MGM / Barbie, MGM
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    Badgley Mischka doll -

    Badgley Mischka creates clothes for the modern woman. (Right) A model walks the runway at the Badgley Mischka Spring 2006 fashion show in New York.

    Barbie, Getty Images / Barbie, Getty Images
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    'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2' -

    For vampire lovers, Barbie created a Bella and Edward doll. (Right) Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson play Bella and Edward.

    Barbie, Summit Entertainment / Barbie, Summit Entertainment
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    Diane von Furstenberg doll -

    With passport in hand and designer luggage by her side, Barbie's Diane von Furstenberg doll is ready to jet-set in style in a pink-and-white patterned wrap dress. (Right) A model walks the catwalk at Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2008 Collection fashion show in Santa Barbara, Calif.

    Barbie, FilmMagic / Barbie, FilmMagic
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    Jennifer Lopez doll -

    This doll is sculpted in Jennifer Lopez's likeness and captures her on the red for the 2012 Annual Academy Awards The dress is a re-creation of an original gown by Zuhair Murad.

    Barbie, Getty Images / Barbie, Getty Images
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    Katniss doll -

    The Katniss doll wears a bodysuit with knee and elbow pads, inspired by the costume worn by Jennifer Lawrence (right). Included are bow, three arrows and quiver.

    Barbie, Lionsgate / Barbie, Lionsgate
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    Vera Wang bride doll -

    The Vera Wang doll was based on the "Dovima" gown. It features a flattering strapless bodice and mermaid-style waist, flowering into a full skirt.

    Barbie, Getty Images / Barbie, Getty Images
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    Zac Posen doll -

    The Zac Posen Ken doll and Barbie set features the ultimate fashion muse in a vividly violet, extravagant belted gown, while the Ken doll is the quintessential designer, casual yet chic in jeans, a silk jacket and pin-tucked tuxedo shirt. Accessories include all the accoutrements a designer may need: bolts of fabric, sewing notions, and a bulletin board.

    Barbie, Getty Images / Barbie, Getty Images
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    Marilyn Monroe doll -

    Part of the Barbie Hollywood Legends Collection, this doll captures all the beauty and charm of this famous actress, in the famous scene of her standing above the grill in New York as the subway rushes by. From the film "The Seven Year Itch," Barbie as Marilyn wears her famous white halter dress with crystal pleating, and beautiful faux pearl earrings.

    Barbie, AP / Barbie, AP

Who says youth is wasted on the young?

America's favorite doll is keeping up appearances despite hitting her mid 50s this month. Barbie (her full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts) turned 55 on March 9, and Mattel is celebrating by expanding her ever-impressive résumé to further Hollywood pursuits.

For the “Barbie 2014 Hollywood & Pop Culture collection,” she pays homage to the "Divergent" movie series ($24.95, Barbiecollector.com) in theaters this week, and wears a gown by red-carpet designer Zuhair Murad.

The Lebanese-born Murad has dressed such A-list stars as Jennifer Lopez, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Swift, and has now has partnered with Barbie on a limited edition doll ($75, Barbiecollector.com) outfitted in a nude strapless gown from his spring-summer couture 2012 collection, originally worn by Blake Lively.

Barbie has donned high-end designs before, including those from couture designer Bob Mackie, footwear icon Christian Louboutin, and even "Project Runway" star Tim Gunn. She has also entertained roughly 130 professions, ranging from astronaut and presidential candidate to street rapper and soda fountain waitress.

It's been a busy season for the fantastic plastic icon. Last month, Barbie was featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, a title generally reserved for striking human models. The spread became a bigger issue when parents and fans of the brand questioned whether it was the right move for the doll's legacy.

Barbie, ever the feisty blonde, responded to critics with an op-ed on the Mattel website, with the hashtag #unapologetic.

"I am a doll. And yet, I’ve always caused a bit of a stir, starting with my debut as a teenage fashion model in a swimsuit in 1959," read the statement. “Barbie dolls” aren’t the problem. Models choosing to pose in a bikini aren’t the problem. The assumption that women of any age should only be part of who they are in order to succeed is the problem."

As for Ken, he also celebrated his birthday in March. He is but a mere 53 years old. 

With reporting by NBC's Zainab AbdulAziz.


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