I am a little late to the party, but we finally got to the theater this past week to see Barbie. I played with Barbies, my kids played with Barbies, and we have a box of them in the basement when kids come over to play. Barbie is iconic.
The movie is campy, yet there is so much more there. To take an iconic doll and write a film that has already grossed over a billion dollars worldwide is epic. Greta Gerwig has made a social statement, and people are paying attention. This is very much about girl power, and in many ways, we have all been waiting for something like this. Who would have thought it would have been a heavily pink movie with dolls as the main characters?
Living in Barbie world, a perfectly pink world where the classic Barbie, played by Margo Robbie, only stands on her tiptoes with the supposedly ideal figure hanging out with other Barbies who are doctors, lawyers, Presidents, bricklayers, and every single profession is perfect. Women rule the world. How delightful.
When Barbie and Ken take flight to the real world for a short stint, it appears that, in reality, women do not rule the world. I think about myself entering the work world and realizing how much harder it is for women to navigate their careers. I came across too many men who had been pushed up the ladder without the intellect behind them, and it was genuinely depressing. Gerwig is making a statement that many women like myself were already aware of.
As they return to Barbie land, the Kens have taken over. What has happened to all the Barbies as they play into subservient roles so men can feel good about themselves? Why exactly are women taking a second seat?
Mattel’s board of directors, all men, of course, run by Will Farrell, as the CEO, are a bunch of shills. They can not even figure out how to get through the turnstiles to exit their building by themselves. A bunch of sheep. Surprisingly, Mattel signed off on this.
As life returns to normal, and the Barbies snap out of it and return to running the world, they choose to give the Ken’s some lower positions in society, but they will not sit on the Supreme Court. Ken is the anti-role model. His prior life was only to give pure adoration to Barbie, but since this minor snag in the film being exposed to the real world, they have given Ken something minor he can hang his hat on. Sound familiar?
No wonder so many women loved Barbie. Gerwig allowed us to look at ourselves in a different light and certainly men in a different light too. It is a social statement, even when it comes to being able to talk about having a vagina. Just like menstrual cycles, something that (gasp) should never be discussed out loud. Barbie is just starting to get her groove on.