Depression hits Barbie like a freight train. Having never experienced any emotions apart from joy and contentment, Barbie is unprepared for the kind of melancholy most humans know all too well. After toppling over the like the doll that she is, Barbie spends an extended period of time laying face-down on the floor in despair. Her gloomy era spawns a whole new doll called “Depression Barbie,” which we can only guess would be a huge hit if it went on sale today.
The commercial for Depression Barbie is hilarious. Barbie wears sweatpants all day, gorges herself on sweets and junk food, becomes one with the couch, and scrolls through Instagram for hours on end. Her depression hits a low point when she starts re-watching the BBC adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice.” The commercial ends with a disclaimer: “Anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD sold separately.”
The scene was a hit with viewers, who found Barbie’s experience with depression laughably relatable and perhaps even a little too on-point. Mental health is being discussed more openly -– and more humorously -– today than it ever has been before, and Depression Barbie feels almost engineered to become a viral sensation. Of course, depression is a real mental health condition that involves more than just laying on the couch all day, but the idea that Mattel would capitalize on Barbie’s lowest point like this is spot-on. Depression Barbie is the reigning queen of quirky: she’s kooky, a little eccentric, but ultimately easy to love. She’s the people’s Barbie.