Okay so everyone knows about the new release of Oppenheimer and Barbie, and since I’ve only had time this week to see one (shameful, I know), of course I picked Barbie. This movie was made for women, by women, and I can tell you, it shows.
For decades, Barbie has been an iconic figure. She represents independent women who can be whoever they want to be. She’s a role model for young girls, and encourages females to strive for their dreams and pursue their aspirations.
Personally, I was never a barbie kind of girl. Growing up I wasn’t really into dolls, but I did manage to get my hands on an American Doll sometime around my tenth birthday, and I adored her.
I can definitely see how Barbie made young girls feel empowered. Even unconsciously, as a younger female, it’s easy to feel repressed. I mean even in school teachers would ask for “a strong man” to help them carry something, or gender stereotypes were always used around us, despite the changing times of gender equality within my childhood. Barbie was a constant figure throughout that and even though I didn’t personally have a Barbie doll, I know quite a few of my close friends did and really felt the power – unknowingly – of having a doll that represented female empowerment.
The Barbie movie didn’t have my expectations super high. While I had heard about the amazing cast and tons of women coming out of the movie adoring it, I just didn’t know if it would be my kind of movie.
Walking into the theater, dressed up in pink, I felt the empowerment of the women around me. I feel like this is important to note, because the only time I’ve felt that kind of unity from people in a movie has been something like Avengers, and the majority of the people viewing that movie were men.
The Barbie movie embraces everything that women struggle with. It shows self-acceptance, individuality, empowerment. The movie follows “stereotypical” Barbie as she realizes that her Barbie dream house life is how life should be lived. In her happy bubble in Barbie land, she begins to have weird and dark thoughts, and (omg!) her heals touch the ground! As Barbie begins to fall apart, she must embark on a journey to the real world to discover which girl is playing with her and ruining her doll, only to be faced with her reality changing completely.
Listen, I get that this is just a movie, okay? But hear me out. Barbie has represented women for decades and with each new doll created, it gives one more little girl the idea that she can be anything that she wants to be. If she wants to be just like her little president barbie doll, who’s going to tell her she can’t?
Despite this view of girls being able to accomplish anything that they put their minds to, the Barbie proved just how exhausting that idea can be. Burning out is something that is so common in our culture at this point, and the signs can be recongized anywhere. Barbie was BURNT OUT. It’s okay if you find the idea of girls doing anything so draining. It’s okay! Doing, and being, anything at all can be super draining and super exhausting, not only physically but mentally too, and the Barbie movie made a point of showing us that while girls are proud to be where we are and improving our image in society, it can be extremely difficult to continue with the pressures of the world on our shoulders.
It’s one of those movies that just makes girls feel like girls. I felt like my femininity was validated.
Surrounding myself with girls of all generations dressed in hot pink and finally realizing the lessons of girlhood is something I don’t think I’ll ever be this lucky to experience again, and I’m so so glad that I was able to feel this kind of power and validation from those around me at something as simple as a movie. While I went in expecting a comedy in pink, I came out of the theater with a newfound mindset and view on life, ready to take on the world (in a pair of hot pink birkenstocks).