For a 60-year-old doll, our girl Barbie has always managed to stay completely with the times, so it should come as zero surprise that she’s on Instagram as @barbiestyle.
As a red-blooded '90s child and general Instagram lurker, I first came across her account and followed her for the nostalgia factor…
...but here’s where it gets kind of weird: The longer I followed Barbie on Instagram, the more I became convinced that her account is secretly genius.
Take this post from today, for example, where “Barbie” is participating in the Bottle Cap Challenge. Hilarious stop-motion aside, it’s adorably relevant since every celeb on Earth seems to be posting a version of the same thing.
And in fact, anyone who’s remotely been on Insta will notice that a lot of Barbie’s “posts” are pretty much exact copies of the type of pics real-life influencers take: She’s got that requisite *visits Brooklyn once* shot...
The ~big summer energy~ pool pic with the flamingo floatie every influencer is required by law to own...
And of course, a good arty candid so you know she’s #hip and #outandabout:
(Also, this "red carpet" photo where she tagged actual J.Lo kills me every time.)
And maybe I’m reading waaaaaaay too much into this, but Barbie’s version of all these classic Instagram posts just strikes me as the funniest thing on Earth. It’s almost as if she’s hugely self-aware...and also poking fun at how we’re all taking the exact same pics??
Because if you think about it, Barbie is the ultimate Insta influencer: She’s beautiful, she has a limitless wardrobe, and her entire life is literally designed to be aesthetically pleasing. It’s the whole point of her being a doll!
Which is why I think it’s also such a subversive work of art when she posts a pic like this: the classic lap shot. It’s like, your brain KNOWS a plastic doll can’t be taking a selfie of her own crotch...but she’s pretending to be like us humans, while we’re all low-key pretending we’re like her….
Here’s another example: In this post, Barbie is copying (parodying?) that “lol woke up like this” post that everyone posts to show that they’re ~human~ and ~real~ and ~have suspiciously good bed head~ even though logically, it’s like, yeah well, BARBIE, YOU ARE PLASTIC YOU LOOK LIKE THAT ALWAYS.
And here, she's pretending to be a human who actually has to climb on a chair to take a good bird’s-eye shot of her food (which is a plate of photogenic macarons, because of course).
And take this Hudson Yards pic: It’s almost perfect, because this is another trendy tourist spot in New York where everyone and their mother has to take a photo...
Anyway, in summary: I know the whole point of Barbie is that she’s a doll designed to look/act like an aspirational human, but when you put her on Insta — a place where us actual humans are trying to display our most aspirational selves — it just gets uncanny. And to be honest? It makes me rethink everything I know about using Instagram, what counts as "fake," and like, what the real point of documenting our un-plastic human lives is.