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After the Summer of Barbie, What’s Next for Fall?

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

As the air turns crisp, the leaves change color, and the Barbie movie lands on streaming services, we can now look back at the cultural phenomenon that was the Summer of Barbie. People dressed up in pink, glitter, and costumes to experience the wonderful, plastic world of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. The thing is, it wasn’t just Barbie that defined Summer 2023 and had many of us dressing up, it was the parallel release of Oppenheimer, Taylor Swift’s and Beyonce’s National tours, and the fact that this was the first real summer without many COVID restrictions.

The common thread connecting these events, and why this summer has been branded as iconic, was that it centered around supportive femininity in pop culture. As social media feeds flooded with pictures from the Eras tour and people’s costumes for Barbie, it really seemed like we were celebrating womanhood. But of course, the Summer of Barbie couldn’t last forever, and now many people are looking for the next pop culture moments to define this Fall. Nothing will compare to the frenzy of “Barbenheimer,”  but here are some things that may grab attention this season.

The Eras Tour Movie and 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

First, of course, is the release of The Eras Tour Movie. People are taking to the theaters, singing along to Taylor Swift’s songs once again. Swift has already defined one season this year, and she’s set to headline another, ironically with the same tour. It also coincides with the re-release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version). When Swift dropped her 5th studio album in 2014, it quickly took the world by storm, similar to Barbie. It skyrocketed to the top of the charts and became one her most decorated albums. So it would make sense that a re-release of an album of that magnitude would cause a frenzy once again.

Football Fall

Also making headlines in the Taylor Swift space, the romance of the singer and NFL player Travis Kelce broke the internet when she showed up to the Kansas City Chiefs game on September 24. Since then, their names have exploded across social media, with many tuning into Sunday Night Football games for glimpses of the pop singer. It’s great that girls feel comfortable getting into football when they have been ostracized from it for so long. And that’s the power of Taylor Swift. The hype around them doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon, so this is surely an event that will define the fall of 2023.

Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts

Back in September, Olivia Rodrigo dropped her Sophomore album Guts and it quickly generated a lot of conversation about how it perfectly encapsulates what it is like to be a 19-year-old girl. Many people find comfort in her vulnerability and struggles of becoming an adult. As she openly talks about her intimate relationships, social blunders, and stigmatized emotions, she pulls herself and the artists of her generation into a new era of authenticity. This album is essential for celebrating the messiness of womanhood this fall, just as Barbie did this Summer.

Beckham show on Netflix

My TikTok ForYou page has been flooded with clips of the new Beckham docuseries on Netflix, introducing many people to the world of soccer and David Beckham’s superstar life. This is the perfect pairing to the NFL craze as some say Kelce and Swift are this generation’s David and Victoria Beckham. Whether it’s finding a new appreciation for the sport or you’re interested in the drama and intrigue of a high-profile life, this docuseries is sure to keep generating a lot of buzz.

Olivia Teeter

Northwestern '27

Olivia is a Freshman at Northwestern University. She is currently studying Journalism and Spanish. When she’s not writing, she’s binging Gilmore Girls, working out, or watching the university sports teams.