Barbie’s Socially Conscious YouTube Channel

April McBride, Staff Writer

Mattel’s Barbie has been around for over 76 years and has had millions of products and hundreds of television shows and movies. The character’s newest of her 200 careers is a YouTube blogger. Barbie’s YouTube channel was launched in 2019 and has gained over 10.2 million subscribers. On her channel she has music videos, challenges, house tours, even ‘what I eat in a day’ videos, but her most well-received content is her personal vlogs. These are made from her bedroom and filmed mimicking the style of popular vloggers like MyLifeAsEva or Bestdressed. Barbie seems to speak directly to young girls about issues such as  self-confidence, bullying and depression.

One of Barbie’s main focus’s on her channel is self-esteem. In this video she broke down the Dream Gap, a phenomen that shows girls start have high levels of negative thoughts at the age of five. (Credit: Barbie YouTube)

Depending on who you ask, Barbie is a beloved icon of young femininity, an independent celebrity with an accessory of a boyfriend, just a toy from childhood, or a symbol of the most rigid and suffocating standards of female beauty. As times have changed, the company noticed sales dropping. The brand had to find a new way to fit into the 21st century market and soon rolled out more diverse dolls, starting in 2014. These include a variety of body types, disabled barbies, and more dolls of color. As Barbie’s channel rose to fame and was accepted as more modern, the brand has since recovered, as Barbie regularly makes new product markets.

These vlogs have been widely accepted as positive and rake in at least two million viewers of mostly young girls from ages four to thirteen. In one of the most viewed videos, ‘Feeling blue? You are Not Alone?,’ Barbie talks about her struggle to be happy even though it may seem like she has the perfect life. She says, “But sometimes I still feel blue and then I feel guilty about feeling sad because I am supposed to be the upbeat positive one all the time.” Julia Pistor, the creative director of Barbie’s channel, says that the videos come straight from trends: “We take a lot of time to understand the conversation going on socially and see what girls are worried about and talking about.” 

Though these videos were made mostly as a new way to market a dying brand, they do hold a lot of value for young girls and women who look up to Barbie as an idol. The more genuine conversations she is having might give them an outlet to understand complex topics that come up as they grow up.