Barbie and I have few things in common. I don’t own anything pink, she has built a world around the colour pink, she always portrays the perfect look, I care less about the look and more about comfort. I run away from cliches, and she creates cliches. She lives in high heels; I have never worn high heels. But we have the most important trait in common: we both epitomise independence, feminism and creating a world of our own making.
Barbie can do anything. Be anything. Become anything. She has captured the hearts and toyboxes of millions of girls around the world. So of course, when the movie came out, it was easy for the Current Crew to convince me to get dressed in pink and go watch so I can form my own opinion around the trending Barbie movie mania.
Barbie is a representation of what women could be if it was not a man’s world. She represents opportunity and hope. The world of Barbie has given girls a chance to role play as successful, multi-faceted women, not to “just be mommy” to her baby doll. I used to watch my daughter play with her Barbie’s, and she loved the fantasy and creating a world that is built on imagination and breaking down cliches and boundaries. Her Barbie was brave enough to jump from any height, her Barbie always won the races, her Barbie owned her own house, car and horse without a Ken’s around, her Barbie had many amazing careers, and she was always the boss.
With this in mind, the movie is heavily nuanced. In Barbie’s world, happiness is in being true to yourself, and a happy ending does not hinge on settling in to a “stereotypical” female role. The movie captures this spirit of possibility and positivity.
The Barbie movie is not just a fluffy pink movie, it did a great job in highlighting inequalities and oppression through the duality of Ken’s character. When he visits the real world, he realises that this is a man’s world. And the audience knows this too, we can relate to this world. The mere thought of women holding positions that men hold in real world are a threat to the status quo, a challenge to masculinity and elicit extremely uncomfortable feelings of insecurity in some men. It’s the result of a society full of men who feel threatened by woman’s success and attempt to seduce and reduce her so that they can feel comfortable, in control and not exist in her shadow.
The real lesson from the Barbie movie is an eye opening critical view of the world we live in, and both men and women are encouraged to challenge the roles they play; to offset the weaknesses and strengths of each other; to work together and not to rule over one or the other. We are meant to question whether there be an ‘inferior’ or ‘superior’.
The Barbie movie tells both men and women to not need someone to tell them who they are; to have the freedom to make choices about what they want in life. It tells them to focus more on personal growth and figuring out who they are; to not be defined by society or trapped by the expectations of others.
In this ideal world, we would each know we are worthy and wouldn’t feel compelled to compete with anyone who triggers our insecurities of not being good enough; not pretty enough or handsome enough; not being smart enough or capable; not stepping out of comfort zones because we are afraid to fail; not having enough; not being enough. In this world, we wouldn’t be focused on “lack” but rather on abundance.
Barbie is an apt film to watch and explore on a deeper level, as we celebrate women and who we can be if we truly believed that we could be and do anything we want to.
Barbie is not just a doll or a movie. It is a symbol of hope, courage, and confidence for millions of girls.
My Women’s Day blog is dedicated to my daughter, I want her to know she will always be just perfect being her unique self, never be tainted by the influence of others, never feel pressure to live up to the expectations of others.
I want her to know she will always be Kenough!