Surprise! Dua Lipa Is a Mermaid in ‘Barbie’

Barbie may not come out until July, but it has the internet in a choke hold already. On Tuesday morning, a fresh set of promotional imagery set social media ablaze. Building on the viral teaser trailer, which was released late last year, the photos reveal the starry array of actors appearing in the Greta Gerwig–directed film and tease their respective roles. One surprise: Dua Lipa will apparently feature in the film as a blue-haired mermaid Barbie. 

Since the Barbie doll debuted in 1959, the iconic character has had more than 200 careers, ranging from doctor to astronaut. This latest promotional campaign leans into the toy’s shape-shifting professionalism, suggesting a “choose your own fighter (or Barbie)” approach. There is Insecure star Issa Rae as President Barbie; model and actor Hari Nef as Dr. Barbie; Ritu Arya as journalist Barbie; Ana Cruz Kayne as Supreme Court Justice Barbie; Margot Robbie as the HBIC (head Barbie in charge). There is a Barbie for everyone. What’s refreshing is that while each character has a coveted, high-powered career, none of them are dressed in drab power suits. Each look is a high-femme bonanza of pink. 

Of course, there are plenty of Kens in the mix too, including Ryan Gosling, Ncuti Gatwa, and Simu Liu. Scott Evans appears dressed in what can best be described as rowdy-tailgating attire: a white cowboy hat paired with a sleeveless varsity hoodie. Make of it what you will, but as one Twitter user pointed out, none of the Ken dolls have careers mentioned, with the posters for the various incarnations reading, “He’s Ken,” “He’s Ken too,” and “Ken again.”  

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