By: Phoebe Cunningham
How the live-action Barbie Movie has taken over audiences of children, teens, and adults all over the world. Spoiler Alert!
Is Barbie secretly depressed? The live action movie featuring the most famous female doll in history dives much deeper into the meaning of Barbie's true emotions.
While most children that played with barbies only knew her as the doll that had A million jobs, dated Ken, and dressed in pink, this movie shows people that the true reason for Barbie’s existence is to teach young girls about feminism, how to love themselves, and how to defy stereotypes that are applied to women. In this movie, Barbie starts out as the typical perfect doll with the perfect life. However, as time goes on, she begins to experience problems with her self esteem and she feels “incomplete”.
Barbie and Ken move from their home of women-empowerment and feminism to the human world, where she discovers that women are discriminated against and that men look down on them. Her mission throughout the movie is to prove that women are powerful in the human world and to find how she can change her world with what she learns along the way.
When Oscar Cunningham was asked about his overall opinion of the Barbie movie, he explained that, “I thought it was good, even from a male perspective. It really shows guys how women can be treated sometimes and that they can also retaliate very easily. My friends and I loved the movie because it incorporates a little bit of humor from the actors into a deeper meaning that has lots of layers to it”. Barbie actress, Margot Robbie, agrees with this viewer's statement. In an interview with Vogue, Robbie states, “As funny and silly as the movie is, it’s also very clever.” Although this movie has controversial views because of the topic of feminism, women all around the world appreciate where the message comes from and can relate to the sexism that Barbie experiences in the world. However, the cast and crew were able to make it as meaningful and memorable as possible.
With actors like Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, and Michael Cera, the movie was as humorous and significant as it could be. As a producer, Robbie also believes that the casting was done perfectly. In a talk with New York Post about co-star Ryan Gosling, Robbie describes how, “I just bribed him really. That’s the basis of our relationship”. These actors and actresses were able to create a big message out of the barbie stereotype, and it has appealed to billions of viewers.
Somewhere along the way, it became a trend to wear pink to the film for teenagers. This popular fashion choice took over social media outlets like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. As well as the wearing pink trend, the songs and dances that were included in the theaters made their way to TikTok immediately after the movie’s release and creators began to replicate them. By this point, it was safe to say that the Barbie movie was one of the most popular films ever created.
But not only this, people on social media began posting videos of themselves ranting and raving about the movie and what it meant to them personally. This encouraged many people to share their stories with similarities to what Barbie goes through and brought a safe space to social media for viewers of the film.
Contrary to what many are saying on social media, after seeing the film I was mildly confused with the plot and some of the events that took place. Although I can see and appreciate the film’s message and the ways that it supports women, I wish that Ken had been nicer to Barbie while she was helping him throughout the movie and supporting him. But I suppose that is another aspect of the challenges that women face in this movie and the outside world.
Barbie has to face lots of adversity throughout her journey, especially when she interacts with Ken. In the world of little girls, Barbie and Ken are known for their loving, respectful relationship. However, in the made-up movie, Ken discovers sexism and patriarchy and acts extremely disrespectful towards Barbie. However, his rude actions ultimately help her discover her self-worth in the end, and she goes on to achieve her biggest goals.
Currently, the Barbie movie has had over one billion dollars in ticket sales, and no movie in Warner Bros. history has ever sold tickets so quickly. Although it was shocking to some how popular the movie became in so little time, for teenagers and adults who grew up playing with barbies, the film captured their interest straight away. The mix of twists from the original Barbie doll with aspects that gives viewers nostalgia is what makes this movie so impactful.