Hot topics close

The Barbie movie trailer is somehow the biggest cultural event of the ...

In one fell swoop, Greta Gerwig's Barbie has completely taken over the internet

Like Oppenheimer's atomic bomb that will be vying for box office glory on the same day, Barbie has officially annihilated the internet in one gigantic burst of pastels and star-studded cameos. In just a one-hour window, the marketing team for Greta Gerwig's upcoming take on the classic doll earned the right to never have to work a day in their lives again. The first Barbie trailer dropped with enough easter eggs to fill a Barbie dream house, as did a series of individual cast posters that became memes from the second they started dropping with the help of an already-set-up ‘make your own poster’ generator. 

Cue thousands of fake posters with everything from selfies to fan-casting of the most unlikely actors to head to Barbie World. Every Twitter timeline is currently just a stream of fake Barbie posters and its peak of virality culminating in an inevitable swift meme death in the space of probably 24 hours might break some kind of record. 

Twitter content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

The intense memeability of Barbie isn't new. Ever since on-set pictures of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling rollerblading down Venice Beach in dayglow neon hit the internet we've been speeding down a one-way Barbie highway in a pink Corvette. Where it's going, we literally have no idea. As far as we can tell from the Barbie trailer, it looks like we're heading out of the fictional Barbie world into the real world in some kind of candy-floss-hued Don't Worry Darling-esque escape of the facade, but this time the men (or the Kens, plural) are the cut-and-paste shells of vapid perfection rather than the other way around. 

But to be honest, no one really cares what Barbie is about. Even with the trailer, the plot was, like, 18 spots down on the list of things people were focusing on behind Barbie's pointed feet and Michael Cera's uncanny valley interpretation of the discontinued doll Allan. The ‘plot’ is simply just a vehicle for world domination. Barbie World domination, that is, and we're already living through its early days. At this point, the end goal isn't even seeing the film, it's the experience of a Barbie movie existing somewhere in the ether with enough camp and colourful cache every few months to sustain us ad infinitum. By the time July rolls around, we'll have almost forgotten there was actually a single piece of filmmaking to consume as we'll be so subsumed by the Barbie way of life.

It's hard to say why exactly Barbie has enveloped the internet in a thick haze of pink fog. It's probably to do with the fact it's directed by Gerwig, who's trusted to make any dip into the silly world of Barbies and Ken's something well below surface level. Then of course its dollhouse occupants, headed up by Robbie and Gosling (whose comedy chops have been itching to be utilised more) but with Simu Liu, Emma Mackey, Issa Rae, Ncuti Gatwa, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera and, conservatively, 876 other celebrities in plastic jewellery wracking up the cast list, doesn't hurt. There's also just the fact that it's unflinchingly camp. It's gauche and gaudy and on the verge of being so silly it slips into fever dream territory but, most of all, ready to be screencapped down to the millisecond. To paraphrase, if a film can't be memed out of context for years to come, does it make a sound? 

With the total global domination that Barbie achieved in just one day, who's to say what universe-shattering extra bits they have up their sleeve before its release finally arrives and changes the course of history forever? We're simply powerless to its whims. We fear life in plastic really is fantastic.

Barbie is out in UK cinemas on 21 July 2023.

Similar shots
News Archive
  • Worldle
    Worldle? Not a typo but a Wordle style geography game: Talking Tech podcast
    14 Feb 2022
  • Chris Evans
    Chris Evans
    Chris Evans Shares Video of Him and Rumored Girlfriend Alba ...
    7 Jan 2023
  • Darnell Wright
    Darnell Wright
    Grueling workout convinced Bears Wright was the one
    28 Apr 2023
  • Cyntoia Brown
    Cyntoia Brown
    Why It’s Hard To Talk About Cyntoia Brown’s Case Without Talking About Kim Kardashian West
    29 Apr 2020
This week's most popular shots