'Saviour Barbie' Instagram mocks white volunteers in Africa

Digital Content

SAVIOUR BARBIE: The hit social media account challenges ideas about self-serving white volunteers on the continent

AN INSTAGRAM account titled 'Barbie Saviour' has become a online hit for taking jabs at real life volunteers who work in Africa.

With over 37,000 followers, the page was created to mock white Westerners who travel to third world countries and make the experience into a self-congratulating exercise.

The bio for the Barbie Savior’s Instagram reads: “It’s not about me... but it kind of is.”

The page, created by two white women who prefer to remain anonymous, draws on their own personal experiences and mistakes while volunteering in east Africa.

The pair told The Huffington Post: “We were never as ‘savioresque’ as Barbie Saviour, but we did things back in our White Saviour days that we regret.”

“It really just started as a joke between us, a way to get some of these things off of our chest. Its hard to pinpoint the irony at times in real life... the wildly self-centered person veiled as the self-sacrificing saint.”

After only a month in action, the account has drawn attention and laughs for its images and outlandish captions.

One caption reads: "Orphans take the BEST pictures! So. Cute. #whatsyournameagain #orphans #wheredemorphansat #kingdomcome #blackbabiesarethecutest #strangers2secondsago #attachmentproblemsarentcute #notazoo"

The creators added: “The attitude that Africa needs to be saved from itself, by Westerners, can be traced back to colonialism and slavery. It’s such a simplified way to view an entire continent.

We have both struggled with our own realisations and are definitely not claiming innocence here, Barbie Saviour, we hope, is an entertaining jumping off point for some very real discussions, debates, and resolves.”
Source: The Voice 21 April 2016