Bella Abbott | Features Editor
Going into the theater with no expectations whatsoever, I came out enjoying all the different messages and themes director Greta Gerwig portrayed throughout the film. Not only did she capture the essence of female empowerment, but she even included Barbies in all sorts of roles, including a reporter Barbie which resonated with everything I want to be.
For some context, the Barbie movie takes place in Barbieland where women dolls run all higher roles from the president to the Supreme Court while the male dolls or “Kens” relax on the beach all day and essentially have the job title of “beach.”
Some other positions to note include women as construction workers and garbage collectors in the film.
These jobs and roles in Barbieland seem to be the opposite from the real world, with men as presidents and occupying most Supreme Court positions.
Critiquing the idea of patriarchy was the way to go in this film. Though some may say this was portrayed a bit unrealistically, which makes sense because it’s a movie about dolls, the movie reinforces a larger idea for Barbie dolls in general, that women can be anything they want to be, even in a world still filled with male-dominated roles and jobs.
Although some may even say Barbies have unrealistic standards for women’s body types, Mattel has done an amazing job in the last few years making new realistic Barbies shown throughout the movie. An example is a couple of Barbie characters with disabilities, like one in a wheelchair and one with a prosthetic arm.
The film made its greatest leap to its centered idea of women being powerful members of society when the character Gloria delivered a monologue about being a woman in today’s world. During the speech, she not only emphasized the importance of having to “always stand out and always be grateful” but also to “never show off, never be selfish, never fall down.”
After the speech, a woman sitting in front of me even yelled “preach” while the rest of us applauded for the human character’s realness.
There’s also something that every young girl or woman can relate to in the film, even some relatable moments for any boys and as well. The dolls had bad days where everything went wrong, just like people sometimes do, but they also had relatable good days.
Not only did the idea of patriarchy come into play, but so did gender equality. The character Ken goes through a long journey to self-discovery throughout the movie, trying to find himself as not just an accessory to Barbie but as a person who is “Kenough.”
As Barbie too, trying to find herself in a world full of perfection that didn’t suit her identity. Going back into the real world, she finds that she’s not just a doll and has a more suitable position in society as a woman.
Growing up as a young girl obsessed with any and every type of Barbie doll, I believe the movie did an amazing job showcasing the Barbies I owned and played with while also conveying a deeper message other than little girls wanting a doll to play with.
That’s why I sat in a movie three seperate times to see it.
Brentaro Yamane| Multimedia Editor
There are a lot of good movies that I have watched, but I would not say that “Barbie’’ is one of my favorites based on the type of genre and the topics that were referenced. Themes such as toxic masculinity and femininity did not really capture my attention. I am more interested in watching genres involving sports and comedy, but that’s just me.
Would I go out of my way to see the movie three separate times? I don’t think so.
This summer, “Barbie” was one of the most talked about films in the country. With the amount of money that the company has profited over the years and the publicity that it has had, it’s not surprising that Barbie fans had their favorite dolls transformed into movie characters.
For decades, Barbie has evolved as one of the most popular toys owned by little girls. Barbie has continued to evolve when it comes to making dolls that look like and represent every single girl, no matter the race, aesthetics or occupation.
It’s too bad that the movie turned the dolls into real characters because I feel that it would have been cooler for the movie to have the cartoons come alive in the real world and vice versa with the adults arriving in the cartoon world when they switch back and forth.
The movie started out with the women or “the Barbies” living in a matriarchal society in which the women hold the primary positions of power and the men play at the beach, have fun and not have a care in the world. While there were instances of different types of “Barbies” being shown, the idea that the “Typical Barbie” was the main character, and the other types of “Barbies” didn’t have a bigger role had to make some girls feel disappointed.
The main “Ken” in the movie did whatever he could do to spend time with Barbie and the idea that she would rather party and hangout rather than trying to build a relationship with someone that truly cared about her was discouraging to men who are trying to be in committed relationships.
As Ken and Barbie traveled to the “real world,” Ken noticed how patriarchy was established and when they went back to “Barbie World,” Barbie noticed how all the men or ‘Kens’ started taking control of the land.
It’s ironic, how the roles switched in “Barbie World” because in the real world, the switch that has been made is how more women are starting to have the jobs that men would have or be considered masculine.
Later in the movie, “the Barbies” manipulated the “Kens” to turn on one another so that they would focus more on fighting each other and getting the “Barbie” they would want as the “Barbies” would low-key regain power and control of the land.
The idea of how much manipulation there was and how men and women had to battle each other for land was just something that didn’t interest me. I also felt that the movie was trying to urge men and women to fight against one another rather than unite.
The shifts of power between men and women were displayed in the movie, and to me it was good to see “the Barbies” apologizing to the Kens for the way they were treating them as the willingness of being equal was present.
As someone that feels that people of all races should have equal opportunities, I would like to continue to see more movies similar to “Barbie” being produced with the concept of the importance of equality but without all the rainbows, fake plastic items and the characters looking bigger than the actual objects that were displayed.