Barbie x Petro-Capitalism

We had to talk about Barbie! This episode is all about Barbie dolls and way they took over the toy industry in the 90s. We've since recorded an episode about the movie which will be available on our Patreon in the coming weeks.

For now, please enjoy this episode that touches on liberal feminism, petro-capitalism, the history of Big Plastic, Barbie (the metonym!) and so much more. Over the course of an hour, Marcelle leads Hannah through a theory-informed breakdown of why Barbie, created in 1959, had her biggest moment in the early 90s and how we might begin to make sense of discourse surrounding Greta Gerwig's blockbuster, Barbie — the movie.

If you like this episode, please share it with family and friends! Word-of-mouth is the primary way we reach new listeners who are interested in feminist materialist critique, pop culture and laughing at and from within *the discourse.* Share the show today!


Material Girls is a new show that aims to make sense of the zeitgeist through materialist critique* and critical theory! Each episode looks at a unique object of study (something popular now or from back in the day) and over the course of three distinct segments, Hannah and Marcelle apply their academic expertise to the topic at hand.

We'll be back in two weeks for another episode, but until then, be sure to check out all the bonus content we have on our Patreon at You can learn more about the show at and on our instagram at!

*Materialist Critique is, at its simplest possible level, a form of cultural critique – that is, scholarly engagement with a cultural text of some kind – that is interested in modes of production, moments of reception, and the historical and ideological contexts for both. Materialist critique is really interested in the question of why a particular cultural work or practice emerged at a particular moment.

Music Credits:

“Shopping Mall”: by Jay Arner and Jessica Delisle ©2020

Used by permission. All rights reserved. As recorded by Auto Syndicate on the album “Bongo Dance”.

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