If you haven’t yet seen “Barbie” the movie, this is your sign to give it a watch. It follows the existential crisis of what used to be the perfect doll living the perfect life. While this film has recently been lighting up screens across Jamaica, dismantling the image of the perfect woman, Jamaican women have been living the ‘Barbie’ life for years. Here are a few trailblazing women and brands that have long been rocking their very own “Barbie” titles, setting the stage ablaze well before Hollywood’s creation.
Barbara Di Barbee – The Social Media Comedy Sensation
Towering at 6’6″, Barbara Di Barbee has been in the media since 2017, when a viral video caught the attention of the world. Known for her towering height and humor, Barbara’s personality has captivated hearts and screens alike. Recently making her mark on the Instagram series “Balla,” in true Barbie fashion, Barbara is determined to making a comeback into the entertainment scene, using her unique presence to uplift her community in Jones Town, St. Andrew. Despite a suspension, Barbara remains unwavering in her pursuit of her dreams, aspiring to attend the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Her magnetic personality and towering stature are her tickets to a brighter future, as she envisions assisting those in need while spreading joy and laughter.
Barbee – The International Reggae and Dancehall Star
Faith J Eselebor, famously known as Barbee, has been serenading the world with her reggae and dancehall melodies. The singer’s journey began with collaborations that resonated across the Caribbean, United States, Canada, and West Africa. Barbee’s enchanting voice and magnetic performances have earned her a seat among reggae’s elite, showcasing her Jamaican roots while surpassing musical boundaries. From her breakthrough hit “Missing You” alongside reggae artist Junior Kelly to her collaboration with Rock City on “Whoa,” Barbee’s musical prowess continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Her influence, artistry, and diversity serve as a testament to the power of the Jamaican woman on the global stage.
The First Jamaican Patois Speaking Barbie Doll – Celebrating Culture and Diversity
In a groundbreaking move, Saffron Jackson introduced the world to the first Jamaican Patois-speaking doll. Launched in 2016, these dolls celebrate the vibrant Jamaican culture, language, and diversity. These dolls, like little ambassadors, have travelled the globe, finding homes from Australia to Estonia, Netherlands to Germany. With a squeeze, the doll greets you in authentic Patois phrases, spreading the warmth of the island’s language. Saffron Jackson’s innovative creation bridges the gap between cultural representation and playtime joy. The doll not only embraces the island’s rich heritage but also empowers girls of all backgrounds to feel seen, heard, and valued.
Barbie Movie Takes the World by Storm
Against this backdrop of Jamaican pride and creativity, the Barbie movie premiered in Jamaica on 25 July 2023 aiding in bridging the gap between the dreams of childhood and the reality of womanhood. The film, starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and directed by Greta Gerwig, has made history by raking in over US$1 billion in just three weeks, solidifying its place among the most successful films in history. Barbie’s universal appeal, combined with the creative genius of Jamaican icons, has ignited a wave of excitement that transcends borders. As the movie continues to captivate audiences worldwide, the island’s own original Barbies continue to inspire young women across the world and Jamaica to believe in themselves and embrace their diversity.
Photo – Official Instagram page for Barbee, Official Instagram Page for Barbara Di Barbee, Zuree Dolls