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Barbie’s first lift was a small, plastic stingray she stole from the dollar store… Barbie (not her real name) didn’t even want the toy. “I was just aiming for the title,” she says. She wanted to be a lifter. In the summer of 2015, Barbie and her longtime friend, who goes by the handle Unicorn-Lift, had just discovered Liftblr. Liftblr, Tumblr’s notorious shoplifting community, is an ever-changing group of mostly young female bloggers who trade tips, write about criminal exploits, and post images of stolen merchandise known as “hauls.” Unicorn-Lift actually discovered the community through an anti-lifting post, written by someone enraged by the existence of the “shoplifting fandom.” She showed Barbie, and the pair found themselves drawn into the Liftblr world. They wanted to be part of it and earn a “lift” title. The only way to do that was to steal something. Unicorn-Lift, also 15 years old, hit the local Wal-Mart. Barbie found herself at the Dollar Tree.
When they got home, Barbie and Unicorn-Lift logged onto Tumblr. Barbie created a new username, Stingray-Lift, and published her debut post: “I had to make an account after my friend @unicorn-lift and I had a first lift lmao.”