The most famous doll in the world was named Barbie because it was the name of her creator Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara. However, she has a (different) full name: Barbara Millicent Roberts.

This full name first appeared in a series of novels published by Random House in the 1960s. The books portrayed Barbie as a teenager attending the fictional Willows High School in her hometown of Willows, Wisconsin. Barbie lived on Elm Street with her family – parents George and Margaret Roberts and younger siblings Skipper, Tutti, and Todd.

The books and accompanying merchandise gave Barbie and her family richly detailed everyday lives. Her parents George, an actuary, and Margaret, a homemaker, represented stability and traditional family values. Stories followed Barbie as she attended classes, ran for student council, babysat her siblings, and hung out with friends after school like an average American teenager.

Barbie also had a steady boyfriend named Ken, who was later given the last name Carson. Ken Carson was portrayed as the handsome, athletic boy next door who shared many of Barbie’s interests. Though their relationship was mostly chaste and innocent, there were hints of future wedding bells once they completed their education.

In 1999, a new series of books entitled Generation Girl depicted Barbie as a high schooler in New York City attending the fictional Manhattan International High School. She lived with friends in a Gramercy Park apartment building while her parents remained back in Wisconsin. This continued Barbie’s modern, independent storyline for a new millennium.

Through these engaging backstories, the Barbie brand gave fans a glimpse into Barbie’s world while expanding her narrative as both a spirited teenager and burgeoning young woman. Over the decades, her full name of Barbara Millicent Roberts has come to represent not just an iconic toy but also an aspirational lifestyle and coming-of-age journey marked by endless possibilities.

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