Ruth Handler, Beyond Barbie

You’ve almost certainly heard of Barbie, and you’ve maybe heard about Ruth Handler, co-creator of the doll. But did you know that Ruth Handler also founded a realistic prosthesis brand to help survivors of breast cancer?

Ruth posing with early Barbie dolls

Born in Denver in 1916, Ruth Handler is most well-known for her creation of the Barbie doll, alongside her husband, Elliot, and Harold “Matt” Matson. But many people don’t know that Handler went on to form a prosthesis company.

In 1970, Handler was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a radical mastectomy. While trying to find breast prosthetics for herself, she found she was disappointed with what was available on the market. She partnered with Peyton Massey to launch her own line of prosthesis called “Nearly Me”. The brand became a huge success, with even then-first lady Betty Ford being fitted for one.

Handler demonstrating a prosthetic

This interview was shot by Judith Binder and Jody Procter for The 90’s. In it, Handler talks about her own battle against cancer and how it led her to create her own prosthesis brand. 



You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Copyright © 2024 Media Burn Archive.
Media Burn Archive | 935 W Chestnut St Suite 405 Chicago IL 60642
(312) 964-5020 | [email protected]