Barbie and the straight-to-DVD movie: pink postfeminist pedagogy

Karen Vered, Christele Maizonniaux

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    As Barbie’s popularity began to decline across the first decade of the twenty-first century, the iconic doll underwent a makeover and became a maven of the straight-to-DVD sector. Across the movies produced since 2001, the narratives reflect an awareness of feminist criticism and seek to remediate Barbie’s particular femininity and the associated gender performance that has fallen into disfavor. Interestingly, these efforts are often facilitated by a movement in time and place that relocates Barbie from the here and now, as she plays the protagonist role in adaptations of classic works of fiction set in the past. Working with methods of textual analysis and informed by the history of literature for children, media studies, and feminist theory, we explore the complex composition of Mattel’s straight-to-DVD Barbie movies and consider how the adaptations intersect with feminist discourses. Looking closely at Barbie and the Three Musketeers (2009) in the wider context of the DVD series, we argue that the Barbie DVDs perform a post-feminist pedagogy and inculcate the post-feminist sensibility among young viewers and consumers worldwide.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)198-214
    Number of pages17
    JournalFeminist Media Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Barbie DVD
    • DVDs for girls
    • Mattel
    • post-feminism
    • post-feminist pedagogy


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