Many audience members were excited to watch Barbie before the movie even came out, and I was one of them.. I dressed up wearing a pink dress with some sparkly heels. It was empowering to go to a theater with everyone dressed up as different Barbies. The whole theater room was filled with such an enthusiastic community who also dressed up in pink and it was beautiful to see everyone look so similar and excited to watch the movie.
Barbie is a fantasy movie directed by Greta Gerwig released on July 21, 2023. It is the first live-action Barbie film starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. It was based on the Barbie fashion dolls by Mattel. In the movies, Margot Robbie plays the stereotypical Barbie in Barbieland, the world where Barbies can be anything they want to be. Barbie can be a doctor, lawyer, or politician. Barbieland is a matriarchal society where women are “self-sufficient and successful.”
I enjoyed the music, imagery, and concept of the movie. The costumes themselves were very stylish and it was amazing seeing music, emotions, joy, and laughter all come together in one movie.
The Barbieland itself is a dreamy and magical place for all the Barbies. Greta made the sets and feelings of Barbieland come to life by portraying Barbie with imagination and creativity within Barbieland, where everything was Pink and open dream houses.
Everything is going great for Stereotypical Barbie, until she starts having thoughts about death and cellulite where, after some silly shenanigans, she is sent to the “Real World” to get things back to normal. It’s here where she meets Sasha who is played by Ariana Greenblatt and America Ferrera as Gloria who is a first-generation Latina representing in the film. Barbie figures out that it is not Sasha that is the reason she is in the real world but it is due to her mother: Gloria. Throughout the film, we see that Gloria started to play with the doll and that her identity crisis is why Barbie was having concerns.
Meanwhile, Ken learns about the patriarchal system. He enjoys the patriarchy as he is being respected and seen. Ken takes what he learned about the patriarchy and exposes the other Kens to the patriarchal system. When Barbie returns to Barbieland with Sasha and Gloria, she faces the turmoil of the Kens taking over Barbieland. She sees Barbies that were once scientists, nurses, and the President are now maids and housewives which breaks her and she becomes depressed. She returns to the Weird Barbie, the one who helped her go to the real world, where she is laying on the floor where Gloria speaks in such an inspirational monologue.
This moment stood out to me as I felt it was Greta’s main thesis, it is a big part of the film that was necessary to be said and heard.
“It is literally impossible to be a woman. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong…You have to be thin, but not too thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.”
This scene is extremely powerful as women can relate to what Gloria highlights. It speaks true value of the societal expectation of women. It was such an emotional yet empowering scene for me to see the expectations that are being portrayed through Gloria’s speech. It emphasizes the struggles of how women are represented in today’s society. It felt extremely relatable to try to fit in society and be pressured to be perfect. The movies contain deep messages that many can benefit from regarding the role of being a woman and societal expectations. The movie brings attention to different perspectives on women’s issues on its message of women’s empowerment while inviting women to reconceive feminism that also captures and does not disregard the struggle of mankind.
At the end of the scene, everyone in the theater was applauding, smiling, and crying and it was so beautiful and powerful.
Throughout the movie, we see the emotional, strong, and powerful side of Barbie.
Overall, the movie was a great watch as it spoke upon many societal expectations and the role of being a woman that is faced in today’s age. There were very many scenes where I could resonate with Barbie and her emotions: the internal battles that all women face everyday trying to fit in society. It was heartwarming to see the room filled with beautiful Barbies like me which give me hope and confidence to be proud of who I am as a woman.