Hipster Barbie reveals ugly truth about society

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Madeline Walker

BY MADELINE WALKER (’17)

We can all relate to the feeling of scrolling through someone’s Instagram profile and not knowing how her life could be so perfect. Here’s the answer: it isn’t.

Instagram account @socalitybarbie, commonly known as “Hipster Barbie,” is raising eyebrows across the Internet for her criticism of social media users. Made by a photographer native to Portland, Hipster Barbie’s profile is filled with carefully posed pictures of Barbie across the Pacific Northwest.

Barbie’s feed is filled with shots of herself, dressed in vintage clothing, doing things a hipster would typically do. She is seen drinking her morning coffee on top of a mountain, looking out over a tranquil lake and posing on railroad tracks. The captions of the pictures are carefully written as well. The account owner uses the hastags #liveauthentic, #finditliveit and #neverstopexploring as well as heavy sarcasm to reveal a disappointing truth about Barbie.

The owner of the account has spoken out about her presence online. The owner states that the account was created to poke fun at people’s biases on social media. Her point is that if everyone is idealizing just one idea of life in America, then no one is truly living authentically.

As a girl I can say that there is an underlying pressure in our society to appear a certain way online. It can quickly become a chore to make sure that your life lives up to the expectations of the picture perfect world found on Instagram. Some people will go to great lengths just for the sake of appearing hip, artsy and especially authentic.

Barbie’s account is an example of how this desperate attempt to be different is counterproductive, and in some cases pitiful. There is no reason for everyone’s Instagram accounts to look the same. The young people of today are diverse, and that is easily seen on social media. People should not feel pressured to fabricate things about their own life to impress others.

Socality Barbie also raises an important question: What does living authentically really mean? Real authenticity is being proud of who we are. Real authenticity means being content to live our own lives, not someone else’s. If we spend all of our time, editing our lives to look and appear a certain way, what does that say about us? Genuine happiness comes from within, and does not need the world’s approval to be valid.