For the longest time, Barbie was a representation of what exactly feminism is fighting against. She embodied a standard of beauty that was all about the hour-glass figure with fair skin and blonde hair and blue eyes.
But Mattel has since rebranded our favorite doll into a progressive icon that kids (or even millennial adults!) can look up to. The company has made a lot of moves to make Barbie more inclusive from adding new dolls of all shapes and sizes to promote body positivity to making Barbie take a career in STEM, and of course, to her vlog channel on Youtube. One moment, she’s doing a silly challenge with her best friend Ken; and the next, she’s walking you through her meditation routine or talking about her experiences with depression. Yup, Barbie is now that girl. And it’s amazing because she’s becoming a role model that not only kids can look up to, but also adults of all ages. What she says applies to all of us. So you better check out these vlogs that just proves how she’s one of the most woke personalities now.
With the Black Lives Matter movement becoming ever more important in these dangerous times, more and more personalities are chiming in, including Barbie. Well, not Barbie exactly, but more of her friend Nikki who is also a woman of color. They gave examples of racism that people of color experience in their everyday lives, and they break it down into simple scenarios that kids could easily understand. And it becomes all the more powerful because it’s Nikki, a black woman, who is voicing all these out, instead of Barbie, a white woman. The contrast is a good example of how
On saying sorry over and over again
This is probably one of the first vlogs that went viral. Barbie talks about how humans’ first instinct for most things that go wrong — however small it is, like bumping into someone, getting served cold food, or even just getting excited about something — is to say sorry. She surmises it’s probably our worry about offending people. However, she follows up, saying, “Sorry is a learned reflex. And every time we do it, we take away from our self-confidence.” So she challenges her sisters and friends — and the viewer — to count how many times you say sorry and replace those “sorry”s with “thank you” instead.
On jokes that aren’t really funny
Barbie made this vlog after she made a post about a friend and paired it with what she thought was a funny caption. But her friend was actually offended and got pretty mad at her. And Barbie’s first instinctual reaction was to say “I’m just joking.” But she realized how awful that is. She was taking the easy way out and at the same time offending her friend by making it into a joke, taking away her friend’s power and voice. So she set out to challenge herself to (1) tell people when jokes aren’t funny and (2) think twice before telling a joke about other people. And honestly, we could all learn from her.
It seems like she goes off on a tangent completely unrelated to the vlog title on this one, but don’t worry, she actually makes a good point. Bullies aren’t just those people who tease you or deliberately hurt you. Sometimes, it’s people who are close to you whose principles don’t align with yours or those who push you to do something you don’t want to do. And it’s hard to cut them off because they’re close to your heart. But there’s a whole world, along with a whole lot of people, out there waiting for you, and you shouldn’t be stuck with people who make you feel bad about yourself.
On taking baby steps
Though a lot of young people are speaking up nowadays (great example: Greta Thunberg), there’s still probably a lot more who are afraid of speaking up in the world of adults. But here’s Barbie telling kids and teens and us adults that it’s never too early to do anything you’re passionate about. If you really care about something, there are people just like you who could support you. You just need to speak up.
On the female voice
In this mostly patriarchal world, women’s voices are often brushed aside in favor of hearing the louder, more boisterous men. Even if they’re just reiterating what a lady said, just like how Ken did it so that Barbie and a female friend Teresa could be heard in a brainstorming discussion. It’s disheartening, and oftentimes, it just makes you want to give up. But what Barbie points out is that women could help one another by supporting each other and being louder together. Affirm what a fellow female is saying just by a quick comment like “that’s a great idea” or “what she said was really interesting.” After all, it’s sometimes the small things in our daily lives that could make a difference.
Holding grudges is easier than forgiving wrongdoings, and a lot of adults actually resent more than they forgive and forget. But here’s a character telling kids — and us adults! — that there’s more to life than collecting all that anger and resentment in your heart and that it’s better to wish people, even those who’ve done you wrong, happiness and peace, so that you yourself could find the same. And yes, she shares a way to achieve that: the Metta Meditation or Loving Kindness Meditation. Try it out, and may you be happy!
On mental health
One of Barbie’s vlogs this year was about asking how you’re feeling, and she admits that she herself doesn’t want to do anything, feeling out of control and helpless, scared and angry. (Yes, it seems even Barbie is on lockdown because of this pandemic.) But she says it’s all okay to feel these emotions, that it’s okay to not be okay. But she also tells you that no, you don’t have to worry about fixing your state of being not okay. And sometimes, acknowledging what you’re feeling is enough to lift the burden off your shoulders.
Have you been watching Barbie’s vlogs? Which ones are you favorite?