I counted 323 individual Barbie dolls, including multiples in the same box and excluding all Kens because, well, they're just Kens. Of these 323, 209 were either unemployed or just on vacation, and were therefore refused residency by Immigration New Zealand. That includes all of the myriad Beach Barbies, Holiday Surprise Barbies and Bubble Fairy Barbie. Unfortunately, this also barred Troll Barbie and - my favourite - Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds Barbie. Can’t bring in invasive species, sis.
The jobless masses also included a range of Dolls of the World Barbies, including Kenyan, Peruvian and Czechoslovakian Barbie. They may have some valuable trades to lend to our community, but they didn’t list them on their applications, so I’m afraid we cannot grant them entry. Also their passports haven’t been updated since before the fall of the USSR, which makes things complicated.
Only 51 Barbies had a shot at residency based on the Green List and their associated Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO) job IDs. Some of them were still a tossup but immediately there were some shockers:
Legally Blonde 2 Barbie may have passed the Bar and may have valuable legal experience in Washington, D.C., but at no point on the Green list do we call for any sort of legal professional. Sorry, babes! Unless she happens to have two years’ worth of drainlaying experience (ANZSCO# 334113), Legally Blonde 2 Barbie is NOT welcome. Actually, while we’re at it, most of the girlboss Barbies (CEO Barbie, etc) will have to hope for some sort of auditing experience as that’s pretty much the only attainable financial position on the list.
Obviously most of the Barbies seemed to work as some sort of singer/actress/athlete, which means they’d probably apply via the Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Resident Visa. This means they’d need to be prominent in their field with at least two years of experience, prove that their presence would “enhance New Zealand’s achievement” in the area, have the support of a reputable New Zealand organisation and never have received any form of welfare or benefit.
Ironically, anyone who’s ever been on hold with WINZ for a benefit is very aware of the fact that NZ has had about four and half musicians, ever. This means that Elton John Barbie and Elvis Barbie can probably squeeze in. Maya Angelou Barbie can make a strong case, too. And while we’re making exceptions, let’s not forget 2000 Olympic Fan Barbie, because she’s clearly an Australian citizen and therefore can come as she pleases, but also she's Australian. Tokyo 2020 Sport Climbing Barbie also appears to be wearing Aussie colours, meaning she might sneak past the border, too. Oh, and so will Royal Family Barbie, even though she doesn’t have a real job.
The rest had to hope their job is on the Green List of New Zealand’s most pressing labour shortages. Most notably, this included crowd favourite Harley Davidson Barbie - so long as she can prove work experience as a Motorcycle Mechanic (ANZSCO #321213). Fingers crossed on that one. Not because she’s a woman, but because she’s a flammable plastic doll without opposable thumbs.
Five Astronaut Barbies applied, but only four could possibly be accepted. The loser here was Space Camp Barbie as she is clearly still a child and has no valuable work experience to contribute to our society. The other four astronauts (including Mars Explorer and Space Discovery Barbie) will still not be able to apply as just “astronaut”. It’s just not on the list, plus if we bag Elton John then we’ve already sussed enough Rocket Men. But they probably have experience as a mechanical or electrical engineer (ANZSCO#’s 233512 and 233311), which is more than enough. Just bring that passion back down to earth.
This is a good time to talk about the celebrity girlboss Barbies, of which there were six: Maya Angelou, Katherine Johnson, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Goodall. Maya will have to apply via talent, as we’ve said. Rosa Parks was a seamstress, which isn’t on the list, so she isn't getting in. Civil rights be damned - activism doesn’t help the economy, sweetheart, no matter what the Barbie Movie is trying to tell you. Helen Keller is disabled, so she can pretty much give up immediately. Eleanor Roosevelt did many things but never really had an actual job, and formal experience is necessary for residency, so tough luck. Try the rich person visa instead: the Active Investor Plus Visa, in which you “invest” $15m over four years.
That leaves just Jane and Katherine. Jane can’t use any of her actual career to get by because we don’t have any native mammals and we hate tertiary education, but she might be able to get in as an Environmental Research Scientist (ANZSCO #234313). That, or we can let her observe Castle for a while and see if she publishes another book. Not that we want authors, either. If you don’t know Katherine, she was one of the ladies behind Hidden Figures, the team that sent NASA to the moon. But we don’t want mathematicians, so she’ll have to swallow her pride and apply based on her prior experience as an Early Childhood (Preprimary School) Teacher (ANZSCO# 241111). That’s gotta hurt. Maybe she could swing Developer Programmer (#261312), but she’s probably not up-to-date on her coding.
Speaking of swallowing their pride, three superhero Barbies attempted to gain residency: Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Woman. All three would have to apply via their alter-egos, obviously. This would be toughest for Supergirl, as she’s technically an alien, both legally and literally: Kara Zor-El from Krypton. But, assuming she can fake some medical records, Kara could apply as Linda Lee Danvers, a grad student with experience in acting and camera operating. Both of these skills are useless according to Immigration, and she can’t apply as a Post-Doctoral Fellow (#242111) as she doesn’t have a PhD and that didn’t make the Green List anyway. But even if she wasn’t foiled by the crack team at Immigration, she would’ve had to declare that her definitely-human application was truthful, and I don’t think Supergirl can lie, so.
Batgirl applies as Barbara Gordon, daughter of the Gotham City Chief of Police, and probably relies on her “superb hacker” status to apply via some sort of IT pathway. Maybe Software Engineer (ANZSCO# 261313)? She’s a talented gal so she’s probably got this one on lock. Wonder Woman might be able to make it through as Diana Prince, though her age might put the immigration officers on edge. She has quite the resume, including stints as an army nurse, intelligence officer, businesswoman, astronaut and UN staff member. But healthcare is the safest bet so let’s just call her a GP (#253111) and be done with it - we don’t need any more damn astronauts.
The agriculturists were a paltry bunch. Peaches ‘n Cream Barbie (not the adult toy store) doesn’t have any real arborist experience (ANZSCO #362212) and is largely just a pick-me country girl, so her soft hands fail the test. Also, we’re sponsored by their competitor. Australian, Western, Got Milk? and Western Stompin’ Barbies all could get in as Dairy Cattle Farmers (#121313) and live a nice life married to a mid-Canterburian Ken. Kev, I guess. They can’t apply as Beef Cattle Farmers, though, apparently we don’t want those. Pilgrim and Pioneer Barbies might have a shot as Market Gardeners (Crop Production/Agronomist Managers, #121221), but neither of them are likely to have a formal record of employment, and that job is not technically on the Green List. Native American Barbie is in the same boat. Tragically, Beekeeper Barbie’s job (Apiarist, ANZSCO# 121311) only appears on the skills shortage list, not the Green List, meaning her pathway to residence will be harder than she initially thought. Heartbreaking. And that’s it for the agriculture sector, I’m afraid.
The scientists were also pressed for luck. Besides the aforementioned girlboss Barbies, headlining the bunch was Dana Scully X-Files Barbie. And while “Paranormal Researcher” isn’t on the list, her degree in physics and experience as a medical doctor may qualify her as a Medical Physicist (#234914) or at least a GP (same as Wonder Woman). Four National Geographic Barbies entered. Only Polar Researcher Barbie and Jungle Explorer Barbie have a shot as Environmental Research Scientists (#234313), but it’s not looking likely. Nat Geo Photographer and Nat Geo Camera Crew Barbies didn’t have anything useful to offer us and probably come with some baggage. Finally, Palaeontologist Barbie would have to try for University Lecturer (#242111) in the Otago-specific skills shortage section, but Otago University just cut their palaeontology position, so she’d be deported upon entry.
Finally, we have the healthcare Barbies. This lot was very fortunate, as New Zealand is seeking pretty much anyone who can use a plaster. The bespoke St. Johns Barbies are already citizens, so that’s easy. Nurse Barbie is seen in an ambulance, meaning she can apply as an Ambulance Paramedic, (ANZSCO #411112). Dentist Barbie has about five options to choose from, which means Tooth Fairy Barbie is also probably in luck. The newer Nurse Barbie is seen on her box pushing an old person, giving us hope that she can apply as an Aged Care Nurse (#254412).
All three Doctor Barbies ought to be able to get in; one is seen holding a child, passing as a Paediatrician (#253321), and the other two surely have experience as Medical Radiation Therapists (#251212), Surgeons (#253511), Radiologists (#253917) Physiotherapists (#252511) or OB-GYNs (#253913) - but to date, I haven’t seen Gynecologist Barbie (I immediately lost her inside me). Maybe next year, speculum included! The two Pet Doctor Barbies are also safe, as Veterinarians (#234711). Civil War Nurse Barbie also probably has a shot at Surgeon, but her heavy PTSD may make her an unattractive candidate.
For what it’s worth, Civil War Nurse Barbie was not the only doll with combat experience. There was also U.S. Air Force Barbie and her sisters in the American Army and Navy, all of whom may be barred for their participation in war crimes. Tough to say. Mechanical engineers are in high demand, after all, and what’s a little civilian casualty in the name of a stronger economy? One thing’s for sure: I didn't see a Geneva Convention Barbie.
At the end of the day, far more Barbies were denied than were accepted. So if Mattel wants to start setting more realistic career aspirations for the Kiwi-hopefuls, I have some recommendations for New Zealand Green List Barbies that haven’t hit the shelves yet:
Halal Slaughterer Barbie (#831212) would be an undeniable hit, as would Urologist Barbie (#253518), Psychotherapist Barbie (#272311) and Plumber Barbie (#334111). Family and Marriage Counsellor Barbie or Drug and Alcohol Counsellor Barbie (#272112/3) would also be a slay. Forklift Operator Barbie (#271216) goes without saying and, while I hate to admit it, Internal/External Auditor Barbie (#221213/4)would have a very warm welcome to New Zealand. But God forbid we make a Journalist Barbie, those ones are absolutely useless.
But wait! All of these Barbies are just... Barbie. She’s done it all. She doesn’t need to apply simply as Civil War Nurse Barbie or Harley Davidson Barbie, because she can fix a chain drive AND apply a tourniquet to a screaming soldier. She is truly a queen of all trades, and should have no problem whatsoever passing Immigration - here’s hoping they just don’t look at her age.