How Barbie's Signature Pink Is a Symbol for Strength and Empowerment

How Barbie Is EMPOWERING Everyone

Love it or hate it, the color pink is everywhere.

And we have Barbie to thank for this newfound obsession with the vivacious hue. In Greta Gerwig's highly anticipated upcoming film of the same name, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, everything from the fantastical world of Barbie Land to the playful fashion and makeup moments are sprinkled with bright, bold shades of pink.

Off the screen, the phenomenon has fittingly been coined Barbiecore, where an explosion of pink looks have flooded TikTok and Instagram. Think: Magenta lipstick, bubblegum-colored manicures and rosy dresses on full display.

"At this point in history, what Barbie represents is something that we're craving as a society," Kim Culmone, the SVP of Design for Barbie and Fashion Dolls at Mattel, explained to E! News in an exclusive interview. "Barbie's position of positivity and female empowerment is resonating culturally."

Plus, over the years, the brand has made a conscious effort to be more diverse and inclusive. So more people "feel connected to it," Culmone added, "They feel seen."

photosBarbie Movie Photos

But the mania over Mattel's iconic doll and her signature color isn't just a product of 2023. It's been brewing for quite some time.

Case in point? Kim Kardashian left an unforgettable impression during her SNL debut in October 2021, wearing a vibrant head-to-toe fuchsia getup to mark her career milestone. And ever since stepping into office in 2020, Vice President Kamala Harris has armored herself in various pink power suits.

Chesnot/Getty Images

There have also been literal interpretations of the toy doll. Kacey Musgraves used Barbie as her muse for the 2019 Met Gala, dressing up as her IRL with platinum blonde hair, a hot pink ensemble and a coordinating convertible.

Of course, stars such as Nicki Minaj and Trixie Mattel have made Mattel's OG girlboss a huge part of their personas since the beginning of their careers. Even someone like Angelyne, a Los Angeles legend, has emulated the fashionista's lifestyle—which was depicted in the 2022 Peacock series of the same name.

"I'd love to be like Barbie," Emmy Rossum said as the show's titular socialite. "She lives a painless existence. You can stick her with things and she won't cry, she doesn't hurt. Wouldn't that be nice, never to hurt?"

But despite Barbie's decidedly sunny outlook that has become synonymous with all things pink and fun, it hasn't always been the case.

"When Barbie launched in 1959," Culmone told E!, "she wasn't wearing pink. She was wearing a black-and-white striped bathing suit. She had a gorgeous red lip, gold hoops and those great black slide mules."

It wasn't until 1972 that Barbie embraced pink, going full force in 1976 with everything from clothes and accessories to the packaging and the font taking on the vibrant hue. This move, as Culmone pointed out, was done intentionally. "It's not a quiet or shy pink," she said. "It's strong, it's powerful."

Alisha Jucevic/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Because make no mistake, pink has never been a passive hue.

Despite its long association with all things feminine, in the early 1900s, it was assigned to boys for "being a more decided and stronger color," according to an article in Earnshaw's Infants' Department journal in 1918คำพูดจาก Nhà Cái Casino Online. "While blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl." 

But by the 1940s, the shade was linked to a soft, gentle appearance and demure demeanor. Yet, much like Barbie, pink has since evolved into a symbol of strength.

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

And, as Culmone shared, there's a fearlessness that comes with not only embracing the gendered hue but taking ownership of it.

"What I love about Barbie being associated with pink is that we are unapologetically empowering girls and women," she sharply put it. "We have claimed pink—and it signifies that girls and women can be and do anything."

It turns out, there's power in pink.

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How Barbie's Signature Pink Is a Symbol for Strength and Empowerment

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