This Barbie is Woke: an Analysis of Postfeminism in the Barbie Vlogs
This thesis aims to investigate postfeminist elements in the vlogs on the Barbie YouTube channel. The vlogs suggest a friendly and instructive parasocial relationship between Barbie and the viewer, but these videos are also employed as a promotional strategy for the Mattel corporation. The postfeminist ideology Barbie represents is used as entertainment as well as child-targeted advertisements. The vlogs’ combination of functions follows the fact that commodification is one of the key aspects of postfeminism. To examine this apparent dichotomy, this thesis looks at two vlogs on the Barbie YouTube channel exhibiting Barbie’s postfeminist ideology, that address issues around gender and race. Applying multimodal discourse analysis, this research explores how and to what objective postfeminism is implemented in the vlogs. This thesis argues that postfeminism is utilised to teach children the basics of social inequality and provide them with individual solutions to implement, as well as stimulating them to consume Barbie media and products.
Faculteit der Letteren