What is ‘Barbiecore’? Inside 2022’s Hot Pink Fashion Trend

What is ‘Barbiecore’? Inside 2022’s Hot Pink Fashion Trend

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.

Already, behind-the-scenes pictures — including ones of Robbie and Gosling inline skating in matching neon — and first-look photos have been the subject of many a meme.

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling film new scenes for 'Barbie' in Venice California.
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling film new scenes for ‘Barbie’ in Venice California.MEGA / Getty Images

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.

Based on celebrity and civilian fashion, it appears the answer is yes.

So, what is ‘Barbiecore’?

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.

Celebrities have been donning Barbiecore-inspired outfitsrecently

Popular on the internet and the red carpet, celebs have been donning hot pink ‘fits since the beginning of 2022.

A-listers have been rocking the undeniably bright hue recently in some of their looks. Take Conan Gray’s Valentino flowing pink ensemble, which he wore to perform at Coachella.

2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 2
Conan Gray at Coachella 2022.Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Coachella

In a July Instagram picture of her wearing a corset-style Versace dress, Hailey Bieber wrote that she was “having a little extra fun” in the caption.

For her take on the Barbie-inspired look, Khloé Kardashian paired a bodysuit with shiny latex pants.

Kim Kardashian also had a uniform pink look with a matching sequined purse.

Quinn channeled Hollywood glamour with her before-and-after Barbiecore transformation.

In June, Lizzo wore hot pink everything to a screening for her Amazon Prime Video dance competition show, “Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.”

Though hot pink has been a fashion choice even before this summer. Megan Fox, who has been seen in pink multiple times in 2022, was ahead of the trend — in 2021 she invoked Barbie in a caption of a photo of herself wearing baby pink.

Inn July 2021, Florence Pugh stepped out in a classy, hot pink Versace dress with matching platform heels for fashion week.

Valentino made quite the statement during their Fall Winter 2022/2023 show with the pop of pink. During their 2022/2023 couture show on July 8, Anne Hathaway and Ariana DeBose posed in color-coordinated pink ensembles from the previous collection.

The actors attended the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 22/23 fashion show on July 08, 2022 in Rome, Italy.
The actors attended the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 22/23 fashion show on July 08, 2022 in Rome, Italy.Daniele Venturelli / WireImage

Back in 2019, Kacey Musgraves inadvertently embodied Barbiecore with her Met Gala look.

The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion - Arrivals
Kacey Musgraves at the 2019 Met Gala.Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum

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.

‘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.

Margot Robbie will star in the upcoming "Barbie" movie.
Margot Robbie will star in the upcoming “Barbie” movie.Jaap Buitendijk / Warner Bros.

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.

In a time when many are seeking a little bit of brightness, Barbiecore — an aesthetic that exudes happiness and positive energy — is coming at the exact right moment.

Barbie continues to be a part of pop culture — and this time, she’s taking over our screens and our wardrobes.

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