the fashion statement of gen z and millennials on feminism

  • Barbiecore is a fun hot pink trend and a statement on the state of the world, enthusiasts say.
  • The fashion statement rejects old standards of beauty and challenges stereotypes about femininity.
  • Gen Z and millennials are embracing it and LGBTQ icons like Lil Nas X are making it their own.

After the pandemic kept her indoors for two years, Imani Fahrah wanted to make a statement for her in-person birthday celebration. Her outfit had to be loud, fun and fabulous.

The 29-year-old New Yorker finally found it after weeks of searching – a hot pink chiffon mini dress paired with shimmering silver heels and a princess crown. Completed with glittery makeup, Fahrah posed for photos at a Manhattan restaurant with her birthday card which read, “Sassy, ​​classy, ​​and so kick-assy.” It was perfectly Barbiecore.

“It’s a movement, an aesthetic, a vibe,” Fahrah told Insider. “Barbie is diverse now, like Black Barbie. She’s had a lot of different jobs. She’s a doctor, vet, realtor. It’s women, it’s girls. We can be anything.”

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Generation Z and Millennials, especially young women in their 20s and 30s, are lead a fashion movement defined by roses in your face, short skirts, chunky high heels, long nails and false eyelashes. The bimbo aesthetic, an ode to Barbie, is making waves and also highlighting – in strong color – how feminism, diversity and even global politics intersect.

The trend coincides with the upcoming release of the film “Barbie” directed by Greta Gerwig starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, but fashion teachers, trend forecasters and ladies say it’s not just the film that drives Barbiecore, who started trending in 2020.

We’re taking a dated beauty standard and overturning it.

The hot pink wave is a statement about feminism, diversity and global politics, according to Chazlyn Yvonne Stunsona 21-year-old beauty and lifestyle blogger based in Los Angeles.

“I think we’ve changed the way we think about the stereotypical Barbie girl with blonde hair and the perfect body. These days we see all kinds of individuals, like me, participating in the aesthetic,” said the blogger, who is black, added.

Barbiecore is a Gen Z and millennial response to the quarantine and social distancing of the pandemic, a kind of sex release moment, version 2.0 of hot-girl summer. The look LGBTQ icons love Lil Nas X and Laverne Cox have embraced, is a feminist statement. It flips the script on stereotypes — specifically that if you wear pink you’re not smart — and expands the notion of femininity to include people beyond blonde, white, heterosexual, cisgender, have said industry experts and enthusiasts.

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At the same time, it’s an extension of those generations calling for diversity and inclusion, with young people redefining how they present themselves in society and at work, demanding respect in whatever pink outfit they want – like Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde” or Emily from “Emily in Paris” would. The trend exploded after Valentino Fall/Winter 22-23 Haute Couture show in March and could gain even more momentum as Gen Z makes its mark in the world of work and young people call for more diversity in American companies.

“Barbie is a personality,” Fahrah said. “Women are starting their own business. They’re ditching boring black suits at work. We’re saying, ‘I’m here. I show up on business, at parties, wherever I want.”

A COVID response with a feminist kick

Lizzo on stage in a hot pink outfit

Lizzo wearing Barbiecore outfits sends the message that you don’t have to look like the original Barbie to embrace a hyper-feminine identity, teachers said.

Scott Legato/Getty Images


Tara, a 26-year-old lifestyle blogger from Dublin who asked to keep her last name private for security reasons, has been dressing in Barbiecore fashion long before the look had a name. For five years, Tara, who goes by her Instagram alias”female dog princess‘, donned Barbie pink dresses, high heels, Barbie shirts and referenced the doll in her captions.

“Barbiecore is popular right now because people are tired of being kept away from COVID, they want to have fun. They’re not afraid to wear whatever they want anymore,” he said. she stated. “It’s also a feminist statement. She says, ‘It’s good to wear bright pink and stand out, you can dress any way you want.'”

According Kendall Becker, a trend forecaster who has worked with luxury stores like Bloomingdale’s. Becker added that by rejecting color, Gen Z and Millennials are also saying “no” to the muted version of femininity that society has so often attributed to women, opting for a bolder version.

“Barbiecore was initially about coming out of COVID. The focus was on party dress up, night dress up, and owning your sexuality,” Becker said. “It spilled over into workplace culture and street style with pink jumpsuits. It’s about owning your look. You feel good and you feel empowered.”

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The bright pink is reminiscent of the so-called “pussy hats” that tens of thousands of protesters donned during the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, Shawn Grain Carterfashion business consultant and professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, said.

“Pink is a color that represents new waves of feminism in terms of the world and what we’re going through,” Grain Carter said, quoting how pink became the unofficial color of some #MeToo protests and some of the images used by campaigners to show the gender pay gap.

“Women are claiming this color as a means of empowerment at work, in politics, in finance, in the media,” she said. “It’s this notion that pink is used as a tool of empowerment for women, whether they’re trans women, young women, older women, middle-aged women, post-menopausal women, whatever. “

Embrace diversity and inclusion

Lil Nas X performs in a hot pink cowboy costume

Lil Nas X’s Barbiecore outfits are a statement about gender and queer identity.

Jason Koerner/Getty Images for Audacy


Barbiecore, specifically the hot pink power suitis a product of the 2020-induced calls for diversity and inclusion in corporate America, according to Grain Carter and Jamie Rossa former fashion executive who is now a consultant and educator who taught at Marist College and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Barbie is now a boss.

“Barbie is a boss girl now,” Grain Carter said. “Barbie represents tradition, but also pushes and breaks new boundaries.”

Black artists, designers, and pop culture icons have played a crucial role in the proliferation of Barbiecore. black women love pop star Lizzo and actress Ariana DeBose recently made headlines with their hot pink outfits. hip hop artist Lakeyah, in his recent hit “I Look Good” combines lyrics about making money, looking good and demanding respect. “I’m a bitch. Perfect, Barbie a bitch. Don’t get me started. Push the boot in that bitch,” she raps. And black fashion designers Hanifa, Kimberly Goldson and Rich Freshwho have all worked with Mattel, drew inspiration from the Barbie aesthetic for their 2022 and 2023 collections.

Nicki Minaj sings

Nicki Minaj’s music video for “Super Bass,” released in 2010, featured a Barbiecore aesthetic with models wearing pink wigs, a hot pink convertible and a pink airplane.

Nicki Minaj, Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Motown, VEVO


Indeed, many attribute the origin of Barbiecore on the rise of rap icon Nicki Minaj in 2010, with his hit album “Pink Friday”. Minaj paired cute pink outfits and a big smile with bold lyrics about sex and fortune. She called her fans “Barbz” for years and in 2021 said she was the “f**kin’ Black barbie” in her song “Black Barbie”.

Tonya Parker49, from Newport News, Va., said she loves that Barbiecore challenges the idea that blonde, thin women are the epitome of beauty.

“I think Barbiecore is definitely a statement about diversity,” she said. “We’re taking a dated beauty standard and overturning it. And that’s certainly a response to current events. I still see joy as a form of resistance.”

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take his own life

Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken on a film set

The upcoming “Barbie” movie starring Margot Robbie could make the Barbiecore trend even more popular, fashion forecasters have said.

MEGA/CG pictures


Barbiecore has the potential to get even bigger with the eponymous film, which industry experts expect to debut in July 2023.

The fact that it is directed by Gerwig, known for her thought-provoking work “Lady Bird”, as well as the fact that it should present a diverse distributionincluding a transgender Ken, could make the film — and therefore the fashion trend — popular with younger consumers, Ross said.

For Fahrah, one thing is certain: Barbiecore is an indispensable breath of fresh air.

“I’ve always felt like I’m being judged for my love of hot pink and hot pink. It’s always been seen as emotional and vulnerable. For him to transition into a strong color is great” , Fahrah said. “That look says ‘It’s my year and I’m kissing’.”

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