Despite little to no buzz at its release, Netflix's Stranger Things has become a hit, garnering what almost seems like the beginning of a cult following. Critics have raved about the performances of both the adults and the children in the show, but one character, despite her small role, has become an unexpected fan favorite.
Thanks to the internet, Barb (or Barbara Holland), a minor character that appears in a handful of episodes, has become a meme. People have semi-jokingly tweeted their support of Barb — who meets a not-so-happy ending — under #ImWithBarb and #JusticeForBarb. There are think pieces on the character's popularity. Barb even made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
The actress who plays Barb, Shannon Purser, has said she "wasn't supposed to be a big deal." But Barb's star has continued to shine, and alongside Purser's own.
Although Barb may not return to Stranger Things in its second season, all signs point to her spirit living on in popular culture. And Purser recently announced on Twitter that she'll play Ethel Muggs in CW's "Archie" reboot, Riverdale.
But all this slow-burning fame was unexpected for Purser. In a simple, honest tweet, Purser opened up about how grateful and excited she was, particularly because she didn't think she had the "right" body type for the industry.
"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," Purser tweeted.
Purser's Twitter followers responded with an outpour of love for the actress, many of whom were girls who said that Barb helped them feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Yet another example of why diversity and representation in the media, in size, shape and color, matters so much.