Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication and Rhetorical Studies


Lyndsay Gratch


Fan Studies;Fanfiction;Performance Studies;Queer Studies;World Building

Subject Categories

Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This essay examines Reddit commentary of the new Barbie film that gave a space for some audience members to connect themselves to the film through queering its plot and characters. Through Reddit commentary, users explored the character design and how characters perform identity within this film and how it relates to their own experiences of gender and identity. This essay excavates how gender identity is communicated within popular culture and the need to queer a film to create one’s own representation. Through the importance of understanding the harm of a binary lens and how the binary gaze creates a stereotypical perception within their representation of identity, users posting on Reddit expanded the movie to give representation and heal a part of themselves by interacting with reflective and restorative nostalgic experiences. In doing my analysis, I highlight the importance of representation in media to create representation, the communication of acceptance, and normalization of diverse gender expression through a non-cisnormative lens that is explored through queering of Barbie (2023).


Open Access

Included in

Communication Commons



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