White Savior Barbie Mocks First-World Volunteers in Africa
Created in homage to Hipster Barbie, two anonymous creators have started Barbie Savior, an instagram account lightly mocking their own experiences and in the process have brought awareness to insincere African volunteers.
From acting as if they are heroes to the poor and impoverished to treating African children as props, the account covers every post you might have seen from similar “worldly” travelers.
The account isn’t shooting at volunteers who go overseas to help in “real and tangible ways,” but does take jabs at those who are more interested in making themselves feel good despite not actually helping at all.
There have been several articles on “voluntourism” and one article, by Pippa Biddle, pointed out that the work done by volunteers was torn down each night by local construction workers who would rebuild their structures each night.
Basically, we failed at the sole purpose of our being there. It would have been more cost effective, stimulative of the local economy, and efficient for the orphanage to take our money and hire locals to do the work, but there we were trying to build straight walls without a level.
The account adds to the commentary on unqualified volunteers who show up “to help.”
While the creators don’t think they were ever as extreme as Barbie Savior, they did say they “struggled with their own realizations,” but stand behind the creation of the account.
“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. That is the real offense.”
A real offense to those who actually go out into the world to make a real difference.