Barbiecore couldn’t be further from the doll once considered a symbol of sexism. Transparently fake, fun, and loud, this subculture is detached from the male gaze and popular among cisgender women and the LGBTQ+ community. But what’s caused it to break into the public consciousness? And why now?
Over eight combined years as an editor at VICE, Refinery29 and Dazed, Amelia Abraham commissioned stories, managed teams, shaped branded campaigns and grew audiences. Abraham now works mainly as a freelance copywriter and brand consultant. Recent clients include Nike, Hinge, Royal Mail, Dr Martens, Lyst, and Matches Fashion. Having published two books on queer culture, Queer Intentions (Picador, 2019) and We Can Do Better Than This (Vintage, 2021), Abraham has talked about LGBTQ+ culture everywhere from Sky News to BBC Radio 4 to the Southbank Centre, and regularly delivers LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion talks for brands.
Alex Quicho is the head of cultural intelligence at Canvas8. Her research into identity, ethics, and technology has been published widely, including in Wired, Bookforum, and a recent monograph for Zero Books. She is an associate lecturer in speculative futures at Central Saint Martins and holds a master’s degree in cultural criticism from the Royal College of Art. At Canvas8, she designs innovative methodologies and develops cultural understanding for clients including Google and Nike.
James Fox is the head of data and analytics at Canvas8 and has nearly 20 years of experience in data-led, multi-methodology research programmes. James joined Canvas8 in 2017, bringing their experience of working across sectors and methodologies, including technology, FMCG, and finance via online consumer panels, focus groups, and one-to-one interviews. James has played a key role across a range of international programmes, leveraging experience in qualitative and quantitative methodologies to deliver impactful, actionable insights. Their work has produced insights and tools for clients including The New York Times, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, the British Government, and Google.
As young people seek ways to process their eco-anxiety, they’re creating a new visual language rooted in mythology, rituals, and nature. How do goblincore, fairycore, and cottagecore help them process an uncertain future? And what do these ‘core’ cultures reveal about attitudes to style?
As homes become hubs of safety and escapism from the outside world, playful Barbie-esque aesthetics – from velvet pink valances to unicorn ornaments – are making their way into interiors. The move speaks to a desire to cultivate comforting 'worlds' as an antidote to modern angst.
The phrase 'garbage trends' has emerged as a tongue-in-cheek way of describing common, fleetingly viral fads, particularly those arising from TikTok. From fashion styles to memes, internet phenomena are coming and going so quickly that companies trying to engage with them must be particularly savvy.
At first glance, TikTok trends such as ‘bimbofication’, ‘the rockstar girlfriend’, and ‘sugar baby aesthetics’ appear to be firmly anti-feminist – a stark contrast to the era of the ‘girlboss’. But what do these narratives reveal about the evolution of female empowerment on social media platforms?