She’s “the career girl who’s running the world—and running late.”
A new “Commuter Barbie” parody video is a playful take on the everyday (and sometimes harrowing) realities of getting to work on time— especially if you’re taking the train in a place like New York.
NYC comedians Carina Hsieh and Claudia Arisso came up with the idea, which is a send-up of multitasking New York commuters who dress for their trip to work as if they’re preparing for the apocalypse — complete with jackets that can face the Arctic; headphones to block out fellow commuters; a phone full of the latest hip podcasts; and prestigious-looking books to appear smart.
See Commuter Barbie in action
Cosmopolitan Magazine editor Hsieh, who is also a comedian, tweeted out a cropped version of the video on Tuesday.
— Carina Hsieh (@carinahsieh) April 25, 2017
In a later tweet, Hsieh told viewers to click the Facebook link to watch the full version of the video, which clocks in at three minutes.
In the video, two strangely wise girls play with the doll, which comes complete with a puffy jacket, a tote bag, an MTA card, a Starbucks Grande Macchiato that “really spills,” a water bottle, a Clif bar, a Trader Joe’s bag, and more.
A Barbie that’s ready for commuting war
This Barbie, a sophisticate, is also constantly on the defense against the indignities of living in New York — or other big cities where people are packed together.
She’s not a fan of “manspreaders” who stretch out and take two seats on the train, or the harassment that’s standard in many public spaces.
Her headphones “tune out the creeps when you’re stuck in the middle seat.”
This Barbie must also come with the standard “stay away from me” scowl of many New York commuters, because one of the girls in the video says, “but if she can’t hear the catcallers, how will she know to smile?” which is met with total silence as both of their faces slowly turn to face the camera.
No comment needed, girls — nothing they could say would sum up just how real that is for women of all ages.
A doll that captures multitasking reality
Hsieh told Gothamist how much the pair relates to the fictional doll.
“We don’t think we’re Commuter Barbies, if only because we can’t afford $800 Canada Goose jackets…But aren’t we ALL a little bit Commuter Barbie?” Hsieh told Gothamist.
What makes the video really brilliant is the wise asides the little girls offer on Commuter Barbie’s life.
One of the girls says, “she’s got that review coming up at work,” to which the other responds, “her manager keeps rescheduling. Typical.”
Commuter Barbie also shows off just how cultured she is, toting around a mini-copy of the book “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith and a phone to listen to podcasts. When one little girl announces the reviews of the book, the other deadpans, “we get it, you read the New Yorker.”
But Commuter Barbie has to deal with the price of transportation too, with a “Metro card sold separately and subject to random fare hikes.”
The real Barbie chimed in
Mattel even got wind of Commuter Barbie, and made a joke about the doll’s Los Angeles drive to work.
— Barbie (@Barbie) April 26, 2017
Commuters cheer their harried Barbie
Commuter Barbie already has some fans.
How do I get a commuter ken doll with his over-producted undercut and leather shoulder bag right now?
— Cole Ledford (@ColeLedford11) April 25, 2017
HAHAHA! I JUST STARTED READING SWING TIME. I'M TYPING THIS FROM THE TRAIN.
— Katie Jo (@katiejoyofosho) April 26, 2017
I spilled coffee on myself this morning and forgot my Tide To Go pen, so this really hit home for me today.
— Christina Stiehl (@ChristinaStiehl) April 26, 2017
Hsieh was right— each of us is “a little bit” of the doll.