What Is “Barbiecore”: Hot Pink And Vibriant In Fashion
What Is “Barbiecore”: Hot Pink And Vibriant In Fashion
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Move over, "coastal grandmother" and “feral girl summer," also known as the wild and free cousin of hot girl summer. The latest fashion aesthetic du jour is hot pink, bubbly — and inspired by a plastic doll.

Meet "Barbiecore," or the fastest way to feel like you're living in a barbie world. Barbiecore is a bright, vibrant trend defined by a very particular color pink.

Themed Pinterest boards dating back to 2019 indicate Barbiecore isn't necessarily new, but it's certainly taking off. Barbiecore currently has 8.1 million views on TikTok, and began to spike on Google starting in June 2022, per Google Trends.

The rise of Barbiecore aligns with growing buzz of the 2023 "Barbie" movie, directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken.

All of this "Barbie" hubbub seems to be begging the question of whether the Mattel doll's aesthetic — pink, pink and more pink — will start to invade our own wardrobes.

What is “Barbiecore”?

Photo: Glamour UK
Photo: Glamour UK

Barbiecore is a girly aesthetic inspired by Mattel fashion doll Barbie. Barbiecore is basically the wholesome little sister to the more jaded, more adult Bubblegum Bitch.

The aesthetic also includes "girly" 2000s television series like Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana, which focused on middle class American families. These shows encouraged confidence, female friendships, and girl power. Other products produced for tweens and teens in the early 2000s, like LipSmacker, are also part of the aesthetic.

Imagery from a more upper class lifestyle created by the Barbie toy line and movies, which includes multiple cars, a private jet, huge house, multiple pets including horses, and a yacht, is also found in this aesthetic, especially when the items are pink.

As all the remakes and reboots of late prove, nostalgia is in. Now, nostalgia is fashionable.

When you conjure up a mental image of Barbie, you probably think bubblegum pink, '80s-twinged, angular yet hyper feminine clothing. That's exactly what "Barbiecore" aims to embody.

How this Fashion has become Famous

A style icon since the ’50s, Barbie has been setting trends with her pink aesthetic for multiple generations. Today, she’s still at the forefront of what’s cool as the “Barbiecore” aesthetic infiltrates pop culture. First, the hot pink color associated with the Barbie doll first popped up at Valentino’s Pink PP Collection, then came the first look of Margot Robbie channeling Barbie in the 2023 live-action film. Now, the doll’s influence is jumping into our favorite A-lister’s wardrobes. Today’s hottest style icons, including Rosalia and Kim Kardashian, have been rocking the signature pink Barbie doll look.

The aesthetic, which has 6.9 million views on TikTok, is the latest core trend that is making the rounds. Earlier this week, Kardashian posed like a real life Barbie in a series of Instagram pics taken by her 8-year-old daughter, North. She wore a head-to-toe hot pink Balenciaga look that even Barbie herself would be envious of. Lounging in her bed and against a matching pink curtain, Kardashian sported a cropped pink hoodie and curve-hugging pantaboots paired with a sparkly top-handle bag.

A few days earlier, Rosalía embodied Babiecore while on vacation with her beau, Puerto Rican singer and rapper Rauw. The singer shared a few snaps of herself in a pink bikini and captured pics getting her nails painted by Rauw, opting for Barbie’s go-to favorite shade.

The bright, bubbly, and bold shade is a welcome mood booster from the past two years amid the pandemic. Maybe that’s why we’re never going to tire of seeing the hot pink hue on the carpet. Style stars including Zendaya, Saweetie, Billy Porter and Nicola Peltz (to name just a few) have all rocked Valentino neon pink looks.

With A-listers and designers all embracing the bubbly, fun aesthetic in their wardrobes and collection, it’s safe to add the hue to your wardrobe ASAP. Right now, we’re all just Barbiecore girls, in a Barbiecore world.

The Barbiecore fashion was always with us, with lawyer Barbie Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and Eve Doll in Lifesize, according to InStyle.

With the excitement over Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling's anticipated new film, Barbie, however, the all-pink, high-fashion trend has returned back into our lives even faster.

The Celebrities & Fashion Houses Embracing “Barbiecore”

But it, with the Barbiecore aesthetic saturating the mainstream, it was only a matter of time before it appeared on the runway.

Moschino dedicated their SS/15 collection to the Mattel doll, with a campy display of everything we love (and loath) about the style—campy silhouettes, joyful colour pallets and gaudy patterns that would make the Memphis Group jealous.

Valentino's PP Pink collection presented this year was also an apparent homage to the doll's favourite colour.

Not only was Valentino's collection one of the most revered from the FW/23 season, Pierpaolo Piccioli nostalgic yet contemporary creations have been eaten up by the celebrity style set, worn by everyone from Gigi Hadid on the red carpet to Nicola Peltz Beckham at the Met Gala.

But it's not just Valentino who are trying their hands at this familiar and serotonin-boosting style.

Stepping out at the premiere of his aptly titled Life In Pink documentary, Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox subvert our expectations for the modern day Ken and Barbie with a punk-rock spin on the fictitious sweethearts.

We're not sure if the pair were cosplaying as 'Halloween Barbie' or '90s Rave Barbie' but their matching Chet Lo and Nensi Dojaka ensembles proved that the Barbiecore style transcends subcultures.

A punk barbie who defies conventions and shops emerging, independent labels? We're here for it.

And how can we not forget Kim Kardashian's all-pink Balenciaga ensembles? The reality star and businesswoman has been striving to achieve this Barbie alter-ego—the pastiche-esque, silicon-filled and ultra feminine aesthetic.

However, the question must be asked if this style is worthy of being celebrated? With the aesthetics rooted in heteronormative and western ideals of beauty (read: blonde hair, caucasian, able bodied and ultra-thin), is the Barbiecore aesthetic more exclusionary than meets the eye?

Sure, the act of wearing bright neon hues or you high octane Balenciaga and Valentino ensembles may be a subconscious act of reclaiming your femininity, however when a large group is excluded from the narrative, is Barbiecore worth being praised?

Perhaps life in plastic, isn't fantastic after all.

1. Lizzo Wearing Barbiecore at Her LA Screening

Photo: Instagram
Photo: Instagram

Lizzo looked vibrant at her "Lizzo's Watch Out For the Big Grrrls" premiere in a hot-pink ensemble from Valentino's fall/winter 2022 pink collection. She wore a pleated skater minidress with matching bright-pink opera gloves, pink tights, and platform pumps.

2. Cardi B Wearing Barbiecore in West Hollywood

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Cardi B looked Barbie-esque in West Hollywood on February 13. She wore a Chanel two-piece set, consisting of a pink tweed bouclé crop top and high-waisted skirt, complete with white lace-up open-toe heels, a fuzzy white Chanel bag, and chunky silver jewelry, including her large silver Playboy-bunny statement necklace.

3. Kim Kardashian Wearing Barbiecore at Home

Photo: Instagram
Photo: Instagram

Kardashian, once again, shows the world that she is a Balenciaga girl through and through. In this bubblegum-pink ensemble and her platinum-blond hair, the reality TV star and Skims designer definitely understood the Barbiecore assignment. She teamed a cropped pink zip-up hoodie with her classic spandex pantaleggings, completing the look with metallic silver Balenciaga sunglasses and a bedazzled Balenciaga Hourglass purse.

4. Dua Lipa Wearing Barbiecore For Her "Future Nostalgia" Tour

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Lipa is the queen of catsuits and opera gloves on her "Future Nostalgia" tour, and this lace fuchsia bodysuit from Balenciaga is right on track, complete with hot-pink opera gloves to match.

5. Olivia Rodrigo Wearing Barbiecore at Her LA Premiere

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Rodrigo put her own edgy rock-star twist on the Barbiecore aesthetic at her "Driving Home 2 U (A Sour Film)" premiere in LA. She wore a Fancì Club two-piece set consisting of a black corset top adorned with pale-pink bows and a matching miniskirt. She finished the ensemble with coordinating opera gloves, black GCDS platform heels, and Wolford knee-high stockings.

6. Sydney Sweeney Wearing Barbiecore at the MTV Awards

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Sweeney channeled her inner Barbie in this all-pink Miu Miu ensemble on the MTV Movie & TV Awards red carpet on June 5. She wore a low-rise crystal-encrusted miniskirt with a thigh slit closed by two leather belt buckles, a pale-pink georgette shirt with embroidery, and platform metallic heels.

7. Penélope Cruz Wearing Barbiecore at a Chanel Dinner

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Cruz looked beautiful in a simple yet elegant pink Chanel maxi dress by Virginie Viard at a Tribeca Festival Artists dinner hosted by Chanel in New York City on June 13. The floor-length design came etched with a subtle grid pattern and thick straps with buttons at the base. Cruz paired it with a matching hot-pink quilted clutch.

8. Sabrina Carpenter Wearing Barbiecore at the Kid's Choice Awards

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Carpenter appealed to Barbiecore in many different ways when she stepped out in this David Koma dress at Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards on April 9 in Santa Monica. From the baby-pink bodice of the number to the bedazzled detailing along the sides and across the chest, her outfit, topped off with Brian Atwood platforms, was both trendy and sweet.

9. Millie Bobby Brown Wearing Barbiecore on "The Tonight Show"

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Though her Raisa Vanessa outfit might have been purple, Brown looked identical to the timeless Barbie doll herself with her long blond hair, pin-up style, off-the-shoulder feathered top, metallic latex pants, and platforms while being interviewed by Jimmy Fallon on May 13 in NYC.

10. Roz Wearing Barbiecore at a Hollywood Launch Party

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Model Roz channeled her inner Barbie in a pink knit midi dress and matching opera gloves at the Hervé Léger x Law Roach collection launch party in Hollywood on June 15. She teamed the dress with a pink Valentino Rockstud bag and hot-pink pumps.

Anne Hathaway Takes Barbiecore to the Extreme in a Sparkly Pink Minidress and Ankle-Breaking Platforms

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Barbiecore, dressing up like everyone's favorite childhood doll, is everywhere this summer — from Megan Fox's fuchsia metallic two-piece set to the pink latex birthday minidress worn by Khloé Kardashian. And Anne Hathaway is the latest (and arguably the most unlikely) celebrity to hop on the hot pink trend.

While attending Valentino's haute couture fashion show in Rome on Friday, the actress stepped out in a Barbie-inspired look to end all other Barbie-inspired looks. Wearing a custom, sequined hot pink minidress with a mock neck and thigh-skimming hemline, Anne accessorized with a Barbie signature: a pair of the tallest, ankle-breaking platform heels known to woman, as well as a matching studded shoulder bag.

Her dark, shoulder-grazing hair was worn down in loose waves, while her glam featured rosy cheeks, a glossy pink lip, and glowing skin.

Surprisingly, this isn't the first time Anne has tested out the Barbie trend. Back in May, during the Cannes Film Festival, Anne wore Valentino's signature shade of hot pink dubbed "Valentino Pink PP" in the form of a long-sleeved, off-the-shoulder jumpsuit with a round sculptural neckline, paired with the fashion house's Garavani platforms again — though, this time they were slightly hidden beneath her wide-leg pants.

'Barbiecore' is a modern take on Barbie, just as the doll evolves

With their unrealistic proportions, the psychological effects of Barbie dolls on girls' body image have been debated. Still, Mattel has made changes to the doll since its debut in 1959.

The brand has taken strides to be more inclusive, creating Barbies that model impactful women throughout history like Ida B. Wells, Naomi Osaka and Laverne Cox. Mattel's increasingly diverse line of Fashionista Barbie dolls display a range of physical features, like Barbies with vitiligo or limb differences.

In 2020, Barbie jumped into the cultural discourse when animated version of the doll started posting "vlogs" during the pandemic on YouTube about her daily life. The Barbie YouTube channel has a current follower count of 10.9 million.

One of Barbie's most-watched videos of 2020 included her addressing the "sorry reflex," or why women feel the need to apologize all the time. This video, where Barbie challenges her female viewers to go a whole day without saying "sorry," garnered over 1 million views on YouTube.

This is the latest pink to be declared 'in'

A pale pink, nicknamed millennial pink for its ubiquity, was especially popular in the 2010s. Rose quartz became Pantone's Color of the Year in 2016, solidifying the color's cultural importance.

But with runways in 2022 displaying elevated brights, including greens, yellows and purples, it's no surprise that this summer's "in" color is a deeper shade of pink.

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