Remember Hipster Barbie? Her artistic coffee pics, beach shots and general #aesthetic went viral last year for poking fun at Instagram trends.

 

Global – Now, two 20-somethings are using her as inspiration to create “Savior Barbie,” a hilarious account parodying those volunteers who make service trips to developing countries — and make it all about themselves.

@barbiesavior is a 20-year-old service volunteer in Africa, documenting her journey to save children through self-serving selfies. The anonymous creators started the satirical account as a way to make fun of their own experiences.

Above all, Barbie Savior lampoons the “white savior complex,” a term used to describe white Westerners who travel abroad to swoop in and “save” impoverished people of color in developing countries.

While there’s nothing wrong with volunteering where aid is needed, it’s important to critique the context of every situation and acknowledge the history of other regions (see also: colonialism, slavery, White Man’s Burden). Volunteers need to make sure their actions help communities in tangible, responsible ways — and aren’t just driven by a desire to feel good about themselves.

That’s at the heart of what the Barbie Savior account mocks. These volunteers go out of their ways to post selfies with kids they don’t know:

They volunteer to do work they aren’t qualified for:

They overestimate the impact of their self-serving actions:

And they cry … a lot:

Although the creators don’t think they were ever quite as bad as @barbiesavior, they told the Huffington Post that they’ve “struggled with [their] own realizations.”

“We were never as ‘savioresque’ as Barbie Savior, but we did things back in our White Savior days that we regret,” they said.

The creators hope it becomes a “jumping-off point for some very real discussions, debates and resolves.”
It can be easy to fall into this trap while helping those who are less fortunate in developing nations. For Westerners who have the privilege of clean water, access to education and modern utilities, exposure to such a different way of life can be panic-inducing — you can feel like you’re an entire community’s only hope.

Barbie Savior pushes against that. She’s an amusing way to add to the larger conversation about volunteer culture, and how to more effectively and appropriately deal with those feelings. The creators hope it becomes a “jumping-off point for some very real discussions, debates and resolves.”

Some volunteers have been critical of the account’s tone and feel that it’s unfair, but the creators say they stand firm in their message.

“If you’re offended by the account, then you’d better be offended by the real accounts who actually display this behavior in all authenticity,” they said.

“That is the real offense.”


Sources: User Submitted 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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