Close up of a Barbie poster featuring Kate McKinnon. She has hacked-off hair, marker scribbles on her face, and one cowboy boot in the air. A caption says "This Barbie is always in the splits."

Kate McKinnon’s Marker Face Barbie Is the Barbie for Me

The Barbie movie trailer has dropped, and with it, Warner Bros. and Mattel have unleashed a million billion Barbie variants on the world. We’ve got Issa Rae as President Barbie! Dua Lipa as Mermaid Barbie! Hari Nef as Doctor Barbie! So many Barbies!

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But my favorite? The immediately relatable Barbie played by Kate McKinnon. I shall call this Barbie “Marker Face Barbie.”

Barbie poster featuring Kate McKinnon. She has hacked-off hair, marker scribbles on her face, and one cowboy boot in the air. A caption says "This Barbie is always in the splits."
(Warner Bros.)

Even if you haven’t seen the trailer, you can instantly picture the Barbie I’m talking about. Her hair is cut in a haphazard bob, no doubt using preschool safety scissors. She’s always doing the splits, because her legs don’t bend any other way. And her face is, of course, scrawled with marker.

I was never really into Barbies, but I did have one Barbie doll that I remember fondly: Robot Barbie. To create Robot Barbie, I took a ballpoint pen and coated Barbie’s entire face with shiny, sticky blue ink. Then I cut off all her hair until it was something resembling a buzz cut. I probably dressed her in something weird, likely designed for another kind of doll. Later, looking at my creation, I felt a searing pang of guilt at having ruined one of my toys forever, but that’s a whole other thing. That’s baggage I need to work through. The point is, we all know and love Marker Face Barbie.

I think Kate McKinnon is the perfect choice to play a misfit, body-modded Barbie. Why? Well, mainly because she’s a great comedic actor, but here’s a fun fact: McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann, the queer and neurodivergent-coded genius engineer in 2016’s Ghostbusters, was my bisexual awakening. McKinnon’s work has literally been transformative for me. It’s no surprise that I’m responding to her portrayal of Barbie so strongly, seeing as her characters are my soulmates.

Crap, do I have a crush on a Barbie doll? Oh boy. This movie is going to do strange things to me, I can tell.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>