Barbiecore: It’s a Statement, Not a Trend
We’re living in a Barbie world, but it doesn’t mean what it used to mean. If this is the first time you’re hearing the world, let me define Barbiecore. Think pink. Lots of pink. Shades of watermelon, kitschy fuchsia, and bubblegum. Then add the accessories. Pink bows, frills, layers of tulle, sequins, and neon tights.
Even before summer’s hottest trend became summer’s hottest trend, hot pink was climbing the radar. This year’s Met Gala with the theme “Gilded Glamor and White Tie” featured ostentatious, princess-like fabric. Everywhere you looked, there was hot pink. On men and women. The trend was solidified and celebrities, influencers and us regular folks have turned up wearing outfits reminiscent of a Barbie’s playhouse. Proof – just this summer on TikTok, #barbiecore content has garnered over 15.4 million views!
The Barbie fashion doll was released by Mattel in 1959. It was originally designed to be blonde, “proportioned”, and white. Its popularity soared the decades following its release. Fun fact – 92 percent of American girls between the ages of 3 and 12 have owned a Barbie. Eventually, the doll became the subject of controversy. “Barbie doll syndrome” was defined as a medical concern — the desire for pre teen and teenager girls and boys to resemble the traditional Barbie, who represented an unattainable standard of beauty.
For myself other millennials and Gen Z, Barbiecore a statement on diversity and outdated notions of femininity. It’s an empowering statement that encourages people to dress and live how they want without fear or judgement. For me, it’s a strong statement that’s personal. Growing up, I was a pale, redhead living in the sunshine state who never felt like I fit in with a tan, big boob + giant a** culture. I also dropped out of college at the age of 21. Yes, I only have a high school degree. At 28, I took my hobby full time and started Madalynne. I’m 34 years old and it’s only recently that I’ve embraced and owned who I am and what I do and encourage other people to live the same way – by their own standards.
Barbiecore is a vibe, an aesthetic, a lifestyle. Today, we are seeing all kinds of people partake in the Barbiecore trend who aren’t blonde, white, heterosexual, cisgender women. I’m proud that today, we are are starting their own businesses, ditching the boring 9-5 black suits, and showing up saying, “This is me”.