‘Pink Renaissance’: The ‘Barbiecore’ trend is empowering a feminist movement in China

‘Pink Renaissance’: The ‘Barbiecore’ trend is empowering a feminist movement in China‘Pink Renaissance’: The ‘Barbiecore’ trend is empowering a feminist movement in China
via @kylazingaround (left), @candiselin86 (right)
Ryan General
August 4, 2023
Inspired by the “Barbie” movie, Chinese women are empowering themselves with the resurgence of hot pink via the “Barbiecore” trend. 
Vibrant movement: The iconic Barbie doll and the recent film starring Margot Robbie have become a catalyst for a growing movement in China that celebrates femininity and embracing one’s true self. Chinese netizens have dubbed the trend the “Pink Renaissance,” which has sparked a wave of enthusiasm for the color pink.
Rejecting norms: The color’s popularity is a departure from traditional Asian beauty standards, which favors fair complexions. However, more and more women are using hot pink to accentuate their tan features, rejecting outdated norms.
Viral TikTok videos by user Candise Lin highlight how women in China are incorporating pink into various aspects of their lives, from clothing and beauty products to nail art and even AI-generated Barbie versions of themselves. 
“Now girls wear pink proudly saying, ‘I bought this to show off my tan,’” Lin explains in her video, which has racked up over 1 million views.
A modern fashion staple: “Barbiecore” aligns perfectly with the global resurgence of early-aughts fashion, where bright and sweet styles take center stage. The style embraces vibrant hues, especially hot pink, and incorporates a range of silhouettes and details, from latex mini dresses to sparkles and plastic hair clips.
More than a fashion statement: Beyond the vibrant aesthetics, the movie deeply resonated with Chinese women due to its focus on female empowerment, offering a refreshing departure from the male-dominated narratives often seen in cinema. As the film is not as popular among male viewers, some Chinese women have started using it as a litmus test for their boyfriends’ attitudes toward feminism, TikTok user Kyla Zhao shared.
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