Instagram Account Hilariously Mocks the 'White Savior Complex'

April 20th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

There are many white volunteers who do great charity work and then there are "white saviors." The Instagram account BarbieSavior slams the idea of a white volunteer in a foreign culture with no idea what they're doing.


A "white savior" is a term used to describe a white person who does charity work for another culture with almost no understanding of that culture and the arrogance not to always ask. You can see the crowd sourced definition from Urban Dictionary below.

Urban Dictionary

New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks describes how the trope comes up in the James Cameron film "Avatar." The film features a white Marine saving an indigenous culture.

"It rests on the stereotype that white people are rationalist and technocratic while colonial victims are spiritual and athletic," he wrote. "It rests on the assumption that nonwhites need the White Messiah to lead their crusades."

Basically, your white friend who volunteered overseas, knows the lyrics to Nicki Minaj songs and gives daps aggressively is not necessarily less racist because of those things, but she may think that's the case.

This is where @barbiesavior comes in.

The account destroys many of the popular "white savior" narratives with Barbie lessons.

1. Volunteering in Africa requires fashionable heels.


A photo posted by Barbie Savior (@barbiesavior) on

2. Show your dedication by getting a tattoo of Africa in Spanish.


A photo posted by Barbie Savior (@barbiesavior) on

And then make your boyfriend Ken get one, too.


A photo posted by Barbie Savior (@barbiesavior) on

3. Make friends with all the local living things, including lions and Black babies.


A photo posted by Barbie Savior (@barbiesavior) on


A photo posted by Barbie Savior (@barbiesavior) on

4. Again, heels are important.


A photo posted by Barbie Savior (@barbiesavior) on

5. Take selfies in impoverished slums.


A photo posted by Barbie Savior (@barbiesavior) on

6. And when you're finally ready, you'll be one of the crew.

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