The Second Installation of the Bellebarbie Series
A barbie to represent every South Asian girl- coming out in 2019 to make all your dreams come true.
When I think back to the Barbie of my days (early 2000), the blond hair blue eyed girl really did emulate the Bubble girl t shows/music videos we watched (think Lizzie McGuire, Christina Aguilera circa 2002 )
And let me tell you something… that girl had a serious denim addiction. Denim jackets, denim skirts, denim miniskirts (oh yes there is a difference)- you name it, 2000’s Barbie had it.
While Barbie stuck to blue on blue, I wanted to have a look book which was a bit more retro based and classic. Hence, I wanted to create the 2000s based barbie without all the hideous fashion choices (absolutely no pants showing your hip bones) and which would actually be considered stylish in 2019.
After all isn’t fashion just about evolving and recycling things from the past?
It was interesting actually looking at the Barbie’s I used to play with in the past as a childhood because honestly, I never used to realise how short her skirt used to be! 2000’s Barbie (well actually all barbie’s) loved to show off their legs and I do genuinely believe it did I influence me as a child to wear miniskirts which I probably would not do as an adult today.
I actually watched an episode of Grapevine (my new addiction I must confess) by Ashely Akanna where they talked about tweets by Erykah Badu stating that she agrees that school-aged girls should not be lowering their skirt above knee length so not to pose a distraction for male students and teachers.
I think it reinforced the point for me that actually, what dolls are wearing does influence a young girl’s mind and what type of clothes she wants to wear. Moreover, what dolls wear do influence in a young girl’s mind what it is normal to wear and societally seen as a beautiful to wear. I do know, that as a young girl (I can only speak for ’90s/ 2000’s babies) we were conditioned that polished and colourful looks were what showed our femininity.
Barbie rarely supported just a graphic tee – because that is WAY TOO CASUAL for the prim and proper barbie. NO, Barbie had to be accessorised or blinged up if to compensate the fact she was not in a dress.
The mainstream barbie does not typically wear the hoodie even though this is what girls typically wear because that would be suggesting that girls do not need to put effort into their looks.
So that is why I think it is not just important to advocate for diversity in barbies but also looking more closely to what type of clothes she is wearing. In 2010 Barbie launched a new range of Barbie’s in under the slogan #thedollevolves.
While it was a cute effort and I do not have A PhD in barbie making, Barbie still has a long way to go before she is truly evolved.
Equally instead of saying well, “grown woman does not play with Barbie dolls anyway so why does it matter” it is important to think how it affects the future generation and the messages given to young children.
I think the quote by Jacqueline Fernandez sums my garbled thoughts off perfectly “ people do just want to see you as a glamour doll that’s put-on screen, but I guess It is how you see yourself”