Editor's Column: There's more to Sheffield's Barbie girl than meets the eye

Hannah Gregory is a woman of the times.

Saturday, 13th February 2016, 7:02 am
Updated Saturday, 13th February 2016, 7:10 am

She’s young, intelligent and highly educated.


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She also chooses to dress like a Barbie doll.

This will cause a sharp intake of breath among some women readers of the generation that fought for equal rights and equal pay. Did all that 1970s bra-burning count for nothing?

Why would you want to dress like a doll, complete with contact lenses to give the ultimate wide-eyed vacant look giving the impression of being the ultimate bimbo?

The Sheffield University student says she gets cruel taunts in the street as she goes about her daily life dressed from head to toe in Barbie pink.

Finding a boyfriend who can see beyond the carefully cultivated facade – it’s a three-hour job to create the look that Hannah loves – is also a problem.

So why do it?

Well the answer, perhaps, lies in social media and its vast global power.

Hannah’s trials and tribulations have been reported not only in the national press here at home, but across the Pond in the New York Daily News.

Switched-on Hannah has an Instagram following of 18,000 and a fashion and beauty blog and website.

Blogging is big business and the bloggers are the opinion makers and influencers of the day, particularly in fashion and beauty.

Pretty soon she could be up there with the superstar vloggers, Zoella, Alfie Deyes and their multi-millionaire mates.

Her world-wide media exposure, while perhaps not exactly hitting an entirely positive note, will not harm her brand.

Who will be laughing at her quirky outfits and Barbie obsession then?

It’s no surprise that Hannah’s obsession with her signature look – Dress Cute and Be Kind is her instagram tag – goes hand in hand with her love of Korea, where she spent a year out during her degree course studying the language. A linguist, she is clearly no bimbo. Quite the opposite in fact.

The dolly look is massive in Asia and Hannah’s look will have turned heads for the right reasons during her spell in Seoul. She wouldn’t have been thought of as odd, more of a trend-setter whose look other young women would be queuing up to copy.

Hannah makes the point on her blog that in Korea she feels free to dress how she pleases, a freedom that comes with a price back home.

That is sad, and everyone should be able to dress how they please, even though opting for the look of a dim-witted dolly when you are clearly far from it seems like a bit of an odd choice.

Until you take a closer look that is.