Barbie Savior

2 women behind Instagram account that parodies the “White Savior Complex”

(@barbiesavior/Instagram)

Taking inspiration from the now defunct Socality Barbie, an Instagram page that featured a Barbie doll posing for “selfies” in the style of a stereotypical hipster Instagram user, Barbie Savior Instagram takes things further by mocking young women who post self-aggrandizing photos of themselves “saving” impoverished children in third world countries. According to the two anonymous white twenty-something women who created the page, Barbie Savior is targeting those who suffer from “White Savior Complex,” a faux-condition marked by the belief “that Africa needs to be saved from itself, by Westerners.”

The creators say they themselves are former “white saviors,” and that the page is drawn from their own experiences of volunteering in East Africa. While they concede their humor might “ruffle the feathers” of those who feel they’re unfairly targeting volunteers, the creators said they wanted to start a conversation, through humor, about the tendency of young white volunteers to portray themselves as self-sacrificing heroes in over-sentimentalized photos of themselves with smiling black children — an irony made more poignant by these young volunteers often lacking the requisite skills to help much with anything at all. “If you’re offended by the account,” the creators said, “then you’d better be offended by the real accounts who actually display this behavior in all authenticity.”

Read the full story at Mashable and The Huffington Post.

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