Barbie has received a lot of criticism over the years. She’s too perfect, her measurements are impossible to live up to, her professional aspirations are lacking, she’s sending the wrong message to little girls. We’ve all heard the complaints. But twin parody Instagram and Twitter accounts are not only making very smart fun of social media, they’re also showing that this Plastic Princess is in on the joke. This is the deliberately perfect world of Socality Barbie. Sure, Socality Barbie is perfect, but she’s also a perfect illustration of what’s wrong with what social media has become. Everything feels staged, artificial, entirely on the surface. But if you look around Instagram, you’ll realize that Barbie isn’t the only one guilty of this level of artifice.
As great as the pictures are (and they really are wonderful) it’s the captions that are killing me. They’re exactly the kind of noxious hipster, cooler-than-thou, believer-for-show, platitude-spewing bullshit that’s all over social media. They are perfect in their over-the-top vapidity and vanilla-ness. The endless hashtags are something to behold as well, but you’ll have to go to Instagram for those. It’s all very meta, but it’s truly hilarious in a beautifully subtle way.
The artist behind the curtain is a female wedding photographer in Portland, Oregon, who wishes to remain anonymous. I think she’s nuts, because there’s definitely at least one book in here. Maybe a series. She has, nonetheless, been interviewed a time or two:
“People were all taking the same pictures in the same places and using the same captions,” she says. “I couldn’t tell any of their pictures apart so I thought, ‘What better way to make my point than with a mass-produced doll?’”