Has the millennial #selfcare trend gone too far? My bank account says yes, and so does Mattel’s announcement that they are now releasing a line of self-care Barbies. If only we’d had these dolls in the 90s, so my Barbies could go on the South Beach Diet with my mom. Mattel actually partnered with Headspace to create this line, which consists of various nearly identical spa-day playsets focusing on meditation, physical fitness, and self-care by encouraging “daily routines.” Because that’s what kids love: routines. I, for one, can’t wait for them to follow this lineup with a line of Barbies that have gone into credit card debt from getting stoned and convincing themselves they need new bath bombs one too many times. Or perhaps one who lost all her friends and family because she stayed home for too many “self-care” days and they assume she died. The possibilities are endless. As Betches’ resident doll roaster, it is my sacred duty to now roast these dolls. Luckily, they’re so zen they can take it.
The Breathe With Me Barbie is able to lead kids through five meditations, which I’ll admit is an improvement from the days when Barbie said sh*t like “Math is hard!” and gave people eating disorders. Look, I’m not saying it’s bad for kids to meditate. It is objectively good for kids to meditate, but what kid wants to meditate while they’re in the middle of a f*cking playdate? This doll is a one-way ticket to not having your kid invited over again. I can picture it now:
Mom: How was your playdate, hon?
Child: Uhh…okay but in the middle of it Kimmy pulled out a Barbie wearing yoga pants and made us sit in silence for 15 minutes while it led us through a body scan.
**Mom blocks Kimmy’s mom’s number and pretends not to see her at Kiss-And-Ride for the rest of the year**
Tbh, I genuinely envy the Barbie Spa Doll’s lifestyle. She is described as someone who “soaks away the day with spa and bath products.” In other words, Spa Barbie is me on unemployment. She comes with a brush, a candle, a neck pillow, an eye mask and set of bath bombs. This doll is living the dream. She also comes with a rubber ducky, which I’m pretty positive would get her ass laughed out of the spa. The best part is that Mattel describes her outfit as “a comfy chic look”. Need I remind you, this “look” is just a towel and flip-flops. So, thanks to Mattel’s self-care Barbies, the next time I’m late to a function because I was sitting on my bed in my towel, staring at the wall for 45 minutes, I will simply claim I was just changing out of my “comfy chic look” into something more elegant.
The Barbie Spa Doll also has her own dog, which she has apparently brought to the spa with her. He even has his own floatation device, which suggests that she is bringing him into the water. This is unacceptable spa etiquette and should not be taught to children. If I was at Spa Castle and someone got in the hot tub with a dog, I would demand a refund. And don’t even try to tell me this is an emotional support animal. You’re at a spa. That’s all the emotional support you need.
The Barbie Fizzy Bath Doll is basically the Barbie spa doll, but she comes with her own bathtub, suggesting that she is at home. And to really drive home that Barbie is just your average millennial, they even gave her a little succulent next to her bathtub! How cute. In related news, succulents are officially played out now.
Of all the dolls, the Barbie Fizzy Bath Doll is the one I can most get behind. I mean, she’s essentially just a Barbie with a really nice bathtub. Sounds normal. I’m honestly surprised it didn’t already exist. Not really breaking any new ground with this one. The only thing that bothers me a bit is the description: “Kids can practice self-care as they help Barbie® doll recharge with this spa-themed playset that lets them play out a classic moment—a glittery, fizzy bath!” While yes, taking a bath is a classic self-care practice, do kids really need to be learning about own how utterly relaxing it is to slip into a warm fizzy bath after a long week of pretending to like the idiots you work with? Isn’t life going to beat them down enough without Mattel training them for it?
Also, as a sidenote, Mattel classifies this Barbie as “brunette”… which… like…. ok. Moving on.
Only slightly different (and I do mean ever so slightly) than Barbie Fizzy Bath Doll is Barbie Face Mask Spa Day, who comes complete with her own tubs of dough to construct face masks out of. I have spent every Sunday night since 2016 applying at least one face mask in the hopes that it would undo the emotional damage from my blackout the night before, and never once have I molded the mask onto my own face like clay. So Barbie is already better at self-care than me. It’s cool, I’m fine.
But if you read the description for this Barbie, it’s actually pretty f*cked up. First, the Barbie comes with a marker, and kids are instructed to “use the included marker to create blemishes on the doll’s face.” Oh no, I do not like the way this is going. After molding the face mask onto Barbie’s face, which we already discussed is unrealistic, here’s what happens next, per Mattel’s own instructions: “remove the mask, wipe the doll’s face with the towel and the blemishes have disappeared—what a healthy glow!”
Okay, f*ck you Mattel. Everybody knows that doing a face mask isn’t going to magically make your blemishes disappear—you just do the face masks because they were on sale at Sephora and the gold ones look cute on your Instagram story. But that’s not the biggest issue. Teaching kids that blemishes are anything other than a normal part of life and need to be excised from one’s face is one thing. But teaching them that they can be eliminated with one face mask and the swipe of a towel? Now that is criminal. Yet another set of unrealistic beauty expectations thanks to Barbie!
Okay, we really did not need a doll for this. This bitch is just going to sleep. Next.
This Barbie is the most sinister of all. She comes with her own yoga mat, weights, and a hula hoop. Her dog also comes with its own set of weights, because society doesn’t place enough pressure on dogs as it is to be fit. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in this pitch meeting: “What if we… now hear me out… give the dog its own set of weights so it can do bicep curls along with Barbie?” “Glen, you son of a bitch, you’ve done it again! That’s genius!” Meanwhile, the one woman in the meeting is like, “…but dogs don’t have thumbs…?” and she gets told to stop being negative. Also, when was the last time you went to a workout class that involved a hula hoop? Ah yes, I remember it well: it was the 35th of Neveruary.
Hula hoop ridiculousness aside, this doll is the person who shows up first to every yoga class, sits directly in front of the teacher, and does headstands while everyone else is supposed to be in child pose. This doll oms really loud at the end of class in a really performative way that you can tell goes against the whole point of om-ing in the first place. This doll #livelaughloves and wears $500 fitness outfits. Stay away from this doll.
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