Pink, pink, pink: How Barbie exploded in popularity over the past year

By Faith Molitor and Liv Barry

Elm Staff Writer and Lifestyle Editor and Incoming Editor-in-Chief

On April 4, the second teaser for Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” released to a flurry of online excitement. Within two weeks, the official trailer already amassed 19 million views on YouTube.

While its release is set for later this summer, audiences are already eager to see the film on the big screen, with many sharing their ideas of what they want to wear to the movie theater on opening day.

“This is what I’m wearing to the Barbie movie,” TikTok creator @ariellesidney_ said, showcasing a number of lavish, fully thrifted outfits to compliment Barbie’s look from the trailer.

This TikTok user is not alone in their desire to dress like Barbie. The film comes on the heels of a recent craze seen across runways, in stores, and on social media. Dubbed “Barbiecore,” the trend focuses on eccentric outfits — almost always in monochromatic pink — that emulate the doll’s signature look.

According to Vogue, the trend gained popularity in the summer of 2022 after Valentino released a runway collection that consisted of entirely hot pink garments. Following its release, a number of celebrities, including Nicki Minaj, Kasey Musgraves, Megan Fox, and Hailey Bieber, wore the pieces from the collection.

Since then, Barbiecore has only grown. According to People, after the trend’s explosion in popularity, the search volume for hot pink clothing items on Etsy rose by 35% in comparison to 2021. Additionally, #Barbiecore has over 35 billion views on TikTok.

With the release of the “Barbie” trailer, the adoration for the classic toy continues to boom, inspiring countless memes.

If Barbiecore was the first inkling of the feature’s potential impact on fashion, then the “Tickets for ‘Barbie’” meme was one of the initial indicators that the movie would be one of the most joked-about films on the Internet.

According to The Mary Sue, the meme typically features a photograph of fictional characters, accompanied by a caption that said “X tickets for ‘Barbie,’ please.” There are countless variations on the joke, including versions featuring characters from “Toy Story,” “Breaking Bad,” and “The Addams Family.”

While the meme went viral during the summer of 2022, the new promotional material for the film spurred another round of viral jokes.

Following the release of the film’s posters, which feature individual members of the cast framed in a bubble that resembles the Mattel logo, people scrambled to recreate them.

“This Barbie lost a day of skiing,” a satirical Gwenyth Paltrow poster said. Another, which featured a photograph of Donald Trump, said, “This Barbie is ARRESTED.”

Additionally, there is now a filter available on TikTok and Instagram for users to create their own remixed poster. The filter includes the notable hot pink that Barbie frequently wears, and users are able to customize the accompanying text to read whatever they want to say.

Another riff on the posters comes from the movie’s tagline: “She’s everything, he’s just Ken.”

Twitter users quickly applied the slogan to an abundance of couples, both fictional and real.

“They were the true ‘She’s everything…and he’s just Ken,’” Twitter user @notgwendalupe said in reference to Elle Woods and Warner Huntington III from “Legally Blonde.”

The memes, which are sure to continue until the film’s release, are a testament to how highly anticipated “Barbie” is. While its promotional material tells audiences little about its plot, the movie is ranked as one of the most long-awaited films of 2023 by Rolling Stone, Rotten Tomatoes, and Collider.

“Barbie” is slated to release in theaters on July 21.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Caption: Margot Robbie, who rose to fame for her performances as Naomi in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Harley Quinn in “Suicide Squad,” returns to the screen as another iconic blonde for “Barbie.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *