‘Barbie Savior’ Is the Hilarious Antidote to the Voluntourism Selfies Filling Your Feed

Cady Lang

Move over, Hipster Barbie—there’s a new plastic parody Instagram account and it’s so real it hurts. Meet Barbie Savior, the artificial embodiment of that very specific person on your timeline fond of heading on “voluntourist” trips to third-world countries then feeling the need to take selfies of their every do-good deed.

The pithy account bio reads: “Jesus. Adventures. Africa. Two worlds. One love. Babies. Beauty. Not qualified. Called. 20 years young. It’s not about me…but it kind of is,” a slyly hilarious nod to the white savior complexes that run rampant within international aid and volunteer work. If you’re not familiar with the term, a white savior complex is generally used to describe Caucasian Westerners who travel to developing countries to “fix” a myriad of problems.

As you can see, the account cleverly riffs on the fact that most volunteers aren’t qualified, but often feel that they are simply because they’re Western.

The account also addresses the issue of fetishizing people and experiences—you know, like that girl on your news feed who took a selfie with an African baby that she just met five minutes ago because it “changed my life forever.”

The creators of the account are exactly the demographic that they portray—two young white women who have chosen to stay anonymous, self-professed former “white saviors” who drew inspiration for the account based on the experiences that they had volunteering in East Africa. The duo told the Huffington Post that they created the account as a way to deal with some of their feelings about their work.

“It really just started as a joke between us, a way to get some of these things off of our chest,” the Barbie Savior creators said. “It’s hard to pinpoint the irony at times in real life … the wildly self-centered person veiled as the self-sacrificing saint.”

As hilarious as the account is, there’s some definite truth to the messages they’re sending; here’s hoping Barbie has people doing some self-reflection before their next service trip.

 

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