Is Barbiecore the next big thing?

This obviously isn’t the first time you’re coming across the umpteenth article about all things pink. What I choose to post here is not so much the trend but look into the “Why”… Why is it that, as a collective, we are choosing Barbiecore, how does it make us feel to fit into it? What is a fashioncore even?

Look up the 2023 Pantone color, and it’s a shade of pink: Viva Magenta 18-1750. In an article for Vogue US, Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman further went on to ascribe the following, “It’s brave, it’s fearless, it’s pulsating, and it promotes optimism and joy.”

Street Style Paris
So I’ll break it down for you. The color pink and its trend association is actually a recent phenomenon. In fact, It was only in the early 1900s that people became more focused on distinguishing between boys and girls, and sticking to certain gender roles and color became the gateway drug to this phenomenon. Firstly, the rise of consumer culture and marketing strategies –with companies targeting specific genders with color-coded products, reinforcing gender differentiation. Societal norms and rigid gender roles also contributed to the association, as color became a visual cue to communicate and reinforce gender expectations. Additionally, the cultural and historical context of the time, like the feminist movement, influenced perceptions of gender roles and the use of colors for gender identification.
Image by Nana Jaqueline
In color psychology, pink is often associated with qualities such as nurturing, sensitivity, and sweetness. These attributes matched Western societal expectations of femininity, so companies took advantage of this and started advertising pink as the perfect color for girls. At the same time, fashion trends were shifting, and pastel colors like pink became popular in women’s clothing. This further solidified the connection between pink and being a girl or woman. All of these factors together created a strong cultural belief that pink was a “girly” color, and it has stuck around ever since.
Fast forward to the present, where we are gender-fluid, fighting the patriarchy and opting for choices that ensure we are making a statement of personal identity. Are we picking pink because we want to offer a reform to the narrative, or are we in the shopping aisle bombarded with a slew of choices, only to be yearning for the simplicity of what it meant to pick pink? Or maybe the answer really just comes down to this: In today’s world, self-expression knows no boundaries. Pink has broken free from traditional gender norms, and men are embracing it as a statement of individuality. The color spectrum is open to all, allowing everyone to shine in their true colors.

Author Nafiseh Soolari

Nafiseh is a creative consultant, writer and photographer— “I love translating the beauty I see in all the moments around me, people, places, things; and I aspire to share my vision: to create a single moment for me and you to connect and realize what this amazing world has to offer…”