I was a little bit late to the game, but I finally got to watch the new ‘Barbie’ movie, which starred Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Farrell, Kate McKinnon, and America Ferrerah. The movie made history when it was first released in theatres in the summer, and it’s making history all over again now that it’s streaming on Max as it featured ASL translation, and the interpreter is going viral for her performance. It’s so refreshing to see that there’s more and more support being represented for people with disabilities. Everyone should have the same rights and privileges to enjoy everything and anything.
I was initially planning to watch the movie in theatres when it just came out, but timing wasn’t a friend of mine at the time, and by the time I got around to seeing it, it was already gone. Luckily, a friend of mine that I initially made plans to see the movie with saw it for me, and she told me it was actually a disappointment, and that she didn’t understand what all the hype was about. I was almost relieved as I didn’t feel I missed out on the experience. As I watched it myself at home, I realized my friend was absolutely right. It was movie that had the best intentions of sending out a message to the world and the people living in the 21st century. But it was definitely a movie. To put it best into words, I’d say America Ferrerrah’s Gloria put it best in her ‘Barbie’ monologue:
“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.
You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be 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 behaviour, 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.
But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful.
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! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.
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.”
If you’re still confused what the movie is actually about, I’d very much like to explain. In short, ‘Barbie’ is a movie that’s about the hardships of being a woman. The Barbies are faced with a situation that isn’t known to them: fighting for their rights, as well as for their land, when suddenly, the Kens take over after Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken get a glimpse of the real world outside of what they know in Barbieland. Ken saw a world where men were the ones in leadership for once, and liked it. Hence, he went back to Barbieland and took it upon himself to lead the way. Barbie went back to Barbieland from the real world and took Gloria, as well as her daughter with her who has nothing nice to say about Barbie, with her. Barbie was shocked to see the reality of her home where women weren’t the one dominating and making all the rules, which was where Gloria’s speech came from. She was talking about the reality of HER home.
With Gloria’s encouragement and help from her daughter, Barbie gets the manipulated Barbies united again, and together as a team, they get their home and their rights back. This entire ordeal got Barbie inspired. She got a brand new leaf on life, human life. With that being said, she decided to make changes in her life. She decided to leave her Barbie World behind to be a real, mortal woman. Barbie knew the risks, but happily took them anyway. It was a happy ending, because she’d much rather live a happy life that had an eventual end rather than live a life without an end and be miserable in it.
As I said before, I really didn’t understand the hype the movie had when it came out in theatres. That’s just branding and good marketing for you. My lack of understanding of the hype might be that I’m not, what social media calls, a #GirlMom. As a parent, you want to experience things with your kids and make memories with them. That includes going to the movies with them. ‘Barbie’ is definitely the perfect movie for a mother-daughter date, or even a family day out. As someone who’s not at that stage (yet!), I’m glad I waited to stream the movie to see it instead of spending money and time to go out.
No matter how worthy or unworthy I thought the hype for the movie was, ‘Barbie’ was definitely a piece of art that got me thinking. Specifically, it got me thinking about women and business; or more like, women in business. Let’s make one thing clear: Being a woman and owning a business is f*cking hard. Even though we live in the 21st century, there’s a lot of sexism going around. Who would’ve thought? I definitely saw it when I worked as a freelance writer. I also saw racism and ableism, but that’s a whole other story to its entirety. I’d get told almost everyday that freelancing was a ‘woman’s job.’
The hashtag #WomenSupportingWomen has been around for ages on social media, and that’s because it holds true. Women need to support women in business AND in life, because if we don’t, success will not be something that we’ll ever accomplish. All the Barbies uniting together as one represented that #WomenSupportingWomen social media movement, and America Ferrerah’s Gloria’s speech represented why it matters so much. In a world where it seems like it’s the battle of the sexes, that unity matters. Women are strong and powerful, in the workforce and in life, and we must not stop showing that to the world, men more specifically.
‘Barbie’ was the biggest 2023 movie. It might seem like a silly movie that’s aimed for little girls at first, but it’s much more than that. It’s a representation of real-life and how women are treated in the real world. The biggest reason why it was such a huge hit was that it was made by women. If it was made by a man, like most movies that are based on anything even remotely as big as Barbie, it would flop. This goes to show that more stories need to be made and told by women, and men to to listen more.