What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Barbie? Blond hair? Pointed toes in stiletto heels? Her name in the brand’s stylized font? How about the new movie starring Margot Robbie?
With ads and trailers steadily releasing in anticipation of Barbie’s release in July 2023, showing the actors in brightly colored outfits and accessories, it’s no surprise that people are taking inspiration from Barbie’s style. Some popular pieces for the barbiecore aesthetic include minidresses, high heels, chunky accessories in the form of headbands and scrunchies, and—most importantly—an abundance of hot pink. In the trailers for Barbie, the Barbies and Kens also wear neons and other vibrant colors, as well as patterns like polka dots and black and white stripes. However, if you search for barbiecore on Google, Instagram, or TikTok, the results will almost entirely be outfits that are pink from head to toe.
The Barbie movie can’t take all the credit for pink’s increasing popularity. The movie’s first teaser trailer was released in December of 2022, but celebrities like Saweetie, Sebastian Stan, and Jenna Ortega were wearing hot pink outfits on the red carpet in April and May of 2022 at the Grammys and the Met Gala. The monochromatic outfits were thanks to the high-end fashion brand Valentino, as these celebrities were wearing clothing from Valentino’s Pink PP collection. The collection and its signature color quickly gained popularity, with the specific shade often being referred to as Valentino Pink after the collection’s release.
Another contributor to the abundance of pink is the recent surge of Y2K nostalgia. More people are seeking style inspiration from early 2000s celebrities and media. This inspiration is mostly taken in the form of specific pieces of clothing like baby tees and low-rise jeans, but movies like Mean Girls and Legally Blonde also provide plenty of pink inspiration to pull from.
Despite its increasing popularity online and on the red carpet, pink isn’t the most popular color for everyday wear. This is especially true for the brighter variants associated with barbiecore. There’s also the issue of pink being commonly associated with young girls, leading it to often be cast aside as former fans of the color get older. It can be hard to wear colors associated with immaturity, or colors that seem hyper-feminine if that’s not the way you’d like to present. Hopefully, the growth of barbiecore among adults and the Valentino collection, which dressed men and women in pink, can be the stepping stones that allow potential fans of pink to wear it comfortably and with confidence.