This is why I’m with Barb.
It’s been over a month since the instant cult classic “Stranger Things” started streaming on Netflix, and still the internet continues to talk about Barb — everyone’s favorite secondary character.
She wears the best of the worst ’80s clothes, sports grandmother-style glasses, and has been dubbed a “misfit” and the “unpopular kid,” yet that just seems to make us love her more. Perhaps it’s because we all feel like Barb sometimes — insecure, on the outskirts, and often left behind.
As it turns out, Shannon Purser, the actress who gave Barb life, can relate, in more ways than one.
“I was very used to the feeling of, when I was younger, kind of being more introspective and not really feeling like I particularly fit in anywhere,” she told Entertainment Tonight.
Even though her career is skyrocketing — she’s slated to join the “Archie” comic reboot “Riverdale,” and many people are hoping she’ll be the face of Squirrel Girl should the character appear in a movie or on TV — she still struggles with body image issues.
Can I be super real? Didn’t think a girl with my body type could get this far. I’m so thankful and excited. Much love to you all 💜
— Shannon Purser (@ShannonPurser7) August 30, 2016
Insecurities like this can rear up for any number of reasons, especially when you’re becoming a well-known actress.
Thankfully, Shannon has a plethora of fans in her corner who were quick to tell her she’s not alone in her feelings and, more importantly, that she’s a major inspiration to them.
1. Agnes is right there with you, Shannon.
2. Elan makes it clear she’s so over the media churning out more and more Nancys when the world is full of Barbs (though there’s nothing wrong with being a Nancy either).
3. Maureen declares that talent trumps outdated beauty standards and even has the power to change them.
4. Maranda is one of many fans that Barb has given a confidence boost.
5. Diverse bodies in the media are a reminder that people of all body types deserve love.
6. This fan’s simple “thank you” speaks volumes.
7. And finally, Shannon’s career is giving hope to this person who needed some.
We are with you, Shannon. Because Barb is part of you, and in one way or another, we are all Barb.
So here’s to your burgeoning career and the great successes you’re bound to enjoy. But through it all, don’t forget that nerdy outsider who brought you into the hearts of so many. Barb may have only been a footnote in “Stranger Things,” but she’s a constant reminder that the body you have is part of the reason she’ll never be forgotten.