Barbie’s Latest Episode Is Making The Stir For The Right Reasons: Let’s Talk Racism
In the latest episode of the Barbie web show, “Barbie Vlogs” Nikki, a friend of Barbie talks about experiencing racism in her daily life.
The friends sat together to discuss the pressing issue. They talk about white privilege, the struggles of racial bias in the latest episode of YouTube’s “Barbie Vlogs.” In no time, a one-minute clip of the vlog became viral on Twitter with over 3.8 million views. The video isn’t making rounds for talking on racism, but its brilliance lies in the way characters call out racism by name, or how barbie validates Nikkie’s experiences instead of questioning or dismissing her. This one act of validation speaks loudly about the society. If only, the victims are heard, understood that we can together end this menace from society.
In the video, Barbie is seen as an active listener to Nikki’s experiences of racial bias.
“Barbie and I had a sticker-selling contest on the beach last month. We split up and went our separate directions to see who could sell the most. While I was on the boardwalk, beach security stopped me three times,” Nikki shares. “The security officer thought I was doing something bad, even though I was doing exactly the same thing that you were doing.”
On another occasion, Nikki says she was underestimated by a teacher who assumed she only aced a French honour club admission quiz because she “got lucky.” When Barbie asks her friend why she didn’t stay in the French honour club “to prove him wrong,” Nikki responds with a statement on how experiencing bias can be exhausting. “I don’t want to constantly prove and re-prove myself,” Nikki says. “He supported you right from the beginning and didn’t support me.”
“Usually when I talk about these things, people make excuses…People did these things to me because I was Black and they made the wrong assumptions about me.”
Nikki’s experiences may resonate with many of us out here. It’s exhaustive to prove and re-prove oneself for who we are. But what is more important is to have a friend to who we can talk without being judged. A friend who listens not to respond, but to genuinely understand. This compassion, validation is required by society at large when people come out and share the horrors of their lives. Be it a victim of racial abuse or sexual abuse, questioning the victim, the person subjected to discrimination is committing a felony of highest order.
We don’t know when society will change, but we do know, we can change ourselves. We can be more intuitive, kind listeners. We can give space to our friends to share their stories without any hesitation. We can remain quiet when our friend needs to be heard. We can stand up for them. We can shut our dear ones when they make sly remarks under guise of “humour.” We can make these little changes in ourselves to make our friends lives better, at least around us.
Yes, we can.