Barbie, Why’d You Do Raquelle Dirty!


Kathryn Kozisek, Community Events Editor

“Hey everyone, get a load of meeeee!”

If you’ve seen Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, you’re probably familiar with the iconic scene of Raquelle riding on a seashell into her pool party, though no one notices because they don’t care about her. All of the focus is on Barbie.

You may think of Raquelle as an annoying attention seeker and drama queen, a generic mean girl, like Regina George. Sure, she has a few less than great qualities like being selfish, devious, and flat out mean to the people around her on a daily basis, trying to steal the spotlight from others and ruin a relationship for personal gain. She’s petty. She may be your least favorite character.

And you’re wrong.

Raquelle is the best character in the show.

She gets a bad rap because she’s pegged to be this super rude and mean character, but all the other characters are frilly and too perfect. Raquelle is one of the most underrated characters in all of Barbie. Throughout the whole of the show, she can be easily shown as passionate and driven, constantly trying to steal the spotlight from her neighbor and frenemy Barbie. Being sassy, arrogant, and flat out iconic.

Raquelle is jagged. She follows what she wants to do.

Plus, I see myself in Raquelle. I’m dramatic, saucy, fashion is my safe place, and I have my begrudging’s against the people in my life that seem like those perfect Barbie’s.

Let’s also talk about how she has four conventionally attractive men who are ripped carrying her around on a seashell chaise like the queen that she is on a palanquin, and she’s chasing after the vanilla that’s Ken? He’s clingy, he dresses like a forty-year-old, and there’s nothing interesting about him. Like Raquelle, his personality is Barbie.

Doomed to the background.

I want to ask the creators why they make her so pushy and one-note, trying to chase after Ken and be Barbie. They did her so dirty, making her chase after someone who won’t even give her the time of day. I wish they would make her more of her own person.

But they literally made it so she can’t be her own person because she’s the exact same design as all of the extras that wander around in the background of the show. She doesn’t even have her own unique design. The background characters have the exact same design as Raquelle just with a different color palette. She’s a doppelganger of the show’s extras.

Because of her design, it is easy to understand why Raquelle would feel like she is unimportant, to have the same design as all the other characters, when characters like Grace, who only appear in two episodes in the online stream not even posted to Netflix, get their own character design. 

How would it feel to be constantly surrounded by people that are a direct copy of you when you are constantly being upstaged and overlooked because of someone that calls you their friend? Wanting to stand out above the rest to get a glimpse of the high life, something that we call fifteen minutes of fame, is something we all have experienced at one point or another in our life, so why are we hating on a character that is searching for something most would like to see for ourselves?

“All the other characters have their own thing,” Amelia McElhone, sophomore and fellow Raquelle defender pointed out. “There’s a sister who likes sports and music, and all Raquelle has is Barbie and Ken. They made her a dull character.”

She’s not a dull character. She’s outgoing with herself. She wears statement colors of red, silver, and gold, and her biggest thing is trying to get other’s attention. 

In reality, Raquelle is iconic because she’s real.

She’s not defined by a single trait or interest, like Summer, who likes sports or Theresa, who’s the dumb comedic relief, or Skipper, who likes music and technology. When it comes down to it, Raquelle is hard to peg. She’s devious and can change at the flick of a switch, to become Barbie’s best friend because she feels bad for her.

Barbie is the definition of the Want-to-Be-Girl. Blonde, skinny, intelligent, capable with everything, and gets along with everyone. People want to be like her, but her achievements are so physically impossible, and she makes it seem like it’s effortless. It takes away how impactful and impossible it actually is.

Whether you like Raquelle or not, she is undoubtedly a relatable character. She shows a longing for acceptance as well as imperfections, and an overall more realistic personality than other characters. Because let’s face it, life is not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. There are going to be many hardships that are going to come your way, and you’re not going to be really thrilled about it. Raquelle models the fact that life is hard and there are going to be people who are better than you, whether you like it or not. 

“To be clear, I don’t think she’s a dull character,” Amelia continued, “but I think the creators are trying to dull her down by making her too simplistic, but in reality, she’s the most real. Barbie isn’t a relatable character, and everything’s handed to her. Raquelle is unlucky and works hard in the way she seeks recognition from others, and they villainize her for it.”

Being able to show real emotions is vital for a good character and Raquelle does not lack in personality, showing disappointment, lack of engagement, ego, and obviously jealousy. Most importantly, she is a hilarious comic relief to keep the story fun and entertaining.

Mattel, you did Raquelle way dirty.

You made the perfect character design by making someone bold and dramatic, then you villainized her character as someone who follows others and needs validation through other’s attention. Then you constantly compare her to the unrealistic expectations of Barbie. That sucks.

And it’s wrong.

Any of the characters in Barbie Life In the Dreamhouse are fantastic choices for the best character, but we all know Raquelle is the best!