Since 1959, kids around the globe have been captivated by Barbie, playing with her dolls, her friends and accessories like the Barbie Dream House. They’ve even watched her on the big screen. Today, they’re still watching her, but on a smaller screen.
That’s right: Barbara Millicent Roberts is a YouTuber.
Barbie sits in front of a camera, at her desk in her bedroom in Malibu, Calif., and “vlogs” – or video blogs – about what’s on her mind on her official YouTube channel. Some videos are about serious topics like bullying, while others are tutorials or fun challenges.
She’s like every other “vlogger” in many ways, except one: She’s animated and played by a voice actor.
Her first vlog was uploaded in June 2015 and, since then, her videos have amassed over 7 million views.
Some of her videos have gained attention from adults. A video titled “Feeling blue? You’re not alone,” where she says it’s OK to be sad sometimes, has more than 1 million views.
Is her channel an attempt by Mattel to remain relevant in the digital age? Or is it an attempt to make up for Barbie’s sometimes-spotty past? (Barbie dolls have received criticism for reinforcing gender stereotypes and being unhealthy role models for young girls.)
But today’s vlogger Barbie is more empowering. Her videos highlight inspiring women like Frida Kahlo and Amelia Earheart, encourage viewers to use math and science to solve everyday problems, and promote wellness activities like yoga and meditation. At the end of each video, she signs off by saying “PACE!,” an acronym for “Positive Attitude Changes Everything.”
Along with the recent introduction of Barbie dolls of varying body types and sizes, perhaps this signals a new age for Barbie.
What was your favorite toy when you were young? Tell us in the comments!
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