Barbiecore Serves Up Hyper-Feminine Fashion — Minus The Male Gaze

As predicted, this year has produced a smorgasbord of trends that have altered the way we dress. From the Euro summer-inspired Tomato Girl aesthetic to the wrong shoe theory and even the nostalgic return of the black stretchy headband, these micro trends are proving that the way we dress in 2023 is wildly different from previous years.
But amongst it all, there has been a cultural force that's had more impact than all the rest: Barbiecore.
Distinguished by Barbie's affinity for all things pink, Barbiecore adopts the costumes of Greta Gerwig's Barbie and the doll's monochromatic wardrobe, sure, but it goes beyond the plastic closet doors of Barbie's dreamhouse.
Barbie's flagrant hyper-feminine aesthetic stems from a fountain of unbridled innocence rather than appeasing any kind of male gaze. She's not trying to play along with some preconceived notion of sexy — she's just inherently playful. She has fun with her wardrobe and adopts a myriad of styles that speak to her many facets, interests and skills.
And it's a sentiment that isn't just for children but for adults, too.
Something that Barbie's titular player Margot Robbie has exhibited throughout the Barbie movie's press tour and multiple premieres across the globe. From Seoul to Sydney, Robbie and her stylist Andrew Mukamal have pulled archival and custom designer pieces from Schiaparelli, Emilio Pucci, Balmain, Moschino, Versace and Chanel to emulate very specific editions of Barbie. So far, we've seen the duo bring the black and white cozzie of the first-ever Barbie to life at Icebergs, 1985's Day To Night Barbie, 1964's The Sparkling Barbie, The Earring Magic Barbie and Totally Hair Barbie of 1992, and the Solo In The Spotlight Barbie of 1960.
Similarly, in the film itself, the ensemble cast sports a museum's worth of heritage Barbie ensembles that stem from a childlike sense of fun. Perhaps that speaks to the film's female director Greta Gerwig, who has proved in her short directorial career with enterprises like Ladybird and Little Women that stories about women, told by women, allow us to see through to their most human parts. Ironic, considering Robbie is playing one of the most famous pieces of plastic in history. But seeing the Aussie star skate around Venice Beach in neon yellow rollerblades and a Jane Fonda-esque '80s unitard, feels so much more fun than any seminal female character we've seen portrayed on screen in a long time.
Barbiecore is more than just the rollerblades, pink accoutrements and Barbie movie merch — it allows grown-up women to embrace their inner child.
From Dua Lipa's stint as mermaid Barbie to Sharon Rooney as a plus-size lawyer Barbie, Barbiecore mischievously sprinkles glitter over the intricacies of the human condition, societal conventions, fair representation and fantasy.
"Walking onto the set, all my fears [of being tokenised] were quelled because there was just so much diversity and diversity of all types," confirmed Issa Rae who plays President Barbie in the film.
"I remember when I finished reading the scripts, I was so thrilled as just a woman in the world, that this movie was getting made… that this version of this movie was getting made by these women, Greta and Margot," America Ferrera told Refinery29 Australia.
On a personal note, there's something soul-soothing about seeing our friends exchange their corporate uniform for hot pink, diamond-encrusted slippers at the end of the day. All the shades of glitter we've seen in the last few months are happy-making and joyous, and the playful energy that Barbiecore has introduced to sensible adult women everywhere feels like a communal exhale after a lifetime of being at the mercy of hourglass syndrome.
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