The wildest Barbie memes
What are the most hilarious Barbie memes? What is Barbie’s chief contribution to meme culture? Is the Barbie movie worth it? And was Barbie really inspired by a midcentury German hooker?
Barbie, the doll, has stood astride western culture like some kind of leggy plastic colossus since March 9, 1959, when Mattel boss Ruth Handler decided she wanted to make a doll to help girls imagine their futures through the medium of play.
Little did Handler know her pneumatic brainchild would still be inspiring creative play, albeit via a vibrant Barbie meme culture, deep in to the 21st century.
Let’s check out some funny Barbie memes, and learn a little about everybody’s favourite blonde while we’re at it. Okay? Okay!
BARBIE ORIGIN MEME
Barbie – full name Barbara Millicent Roberts – was inspired when creator Ruth Handler went to Germany and saw a risqué doll called Bild Lilli. Bild Lilli, created in 1952, was based on a high-end call girl named Lilli, who featured in the racy comic-strip, Bild-Zeitung.
Bild Lilli was literally sold at bars and tobacconists, and was not intended for children. Like, not at all. Still, Handler liked what she saw and swiped the idea.
BARBIE BOYFRIEND MEME
Everybody knows Barbie’s boyfriend is Ken, the blandly appealing probably-rich dreamboat. But did you know the ultimate acrylic power couple broke up in 2004?
I know, tragic to contemplate. Barbie even, the little minx, had a rebound fling with an Australian surfer dude (‘boogie boarder’) called Blaine Gordon (ugh).
Anywho, with that out of her system, Barbie and Ken reconciled on Valentine’s day 2011, telling fans on her Facebook page that her ‘heart beats only for Ken’.
BARBIE FRENEMY MEME
Did you know about Raquelle? She’s a major character in those weird CGI Barbie movies your sister likes. Raquelle – you can call her Barbie’s frenemy, or antagonist if you prefer – fancies the goddamn ass off of Ken.
She has dark hair, and Mattel has occasionally flirted with making her Asian.
Raquelle is everything Barbie isn’t – jealous, acquisitive, scheming.
BARBIE CAREER MEMES
Barbie – who, according the deep lore, was born in Willows, Wisconsin – has worked a whole bunch of jobs over the years, reflecting changing fashions and the naked cynicism of Mattel’s marketing department.
She’s been a babysitter, a veterinarian, and airline pilot and Olympic figure skater. Also a model, a NASCAR driver, a beekeeper, farmer, doctor, president, astronaut, architect, musician, builder, pizza chef, ballet instructor, and robotics engineer.
Possibly she’s even done a few of those jobs simultaneously. Forbes reckons her Dream House would cost about $16million if it was real, with seven rooms, an elevator, garage and pool.
BARBIE IMPACT MEMES
The priciest Barbie ever sold at auction went for some $302,500 in 2010. It was a collaboration with Australian jeweller Stefano Canturi, and the funds went to raise money for cancer research.
Barbie also has her own Pantone color. Barbie Pink has been used by Mattel in logos and merchandise for decades now.
She’s also been part of the childhood of millions of girls and boys, inspiring imaginative play and creativity beyond measure.
BARBIE CONTROVERSY MEMES
She’s tall and beautiful, white and blonde, which obviously upsets some people. And also rich, with her flashy pink Corvette and gowns designed by Calvin Klein and Vera Wang.
Others seem to think it’s worthwhile to argue Barbie presents an unrealistic body image, which is obviously kind of true.
But then you could also say the same about Lego figures.
While we’re here, does anybody know IS IT PRONOUNCED GIF OR JIF?