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Barbie, the perfect execution of womanhood

The Barbie movie was directed by Greta Gerwig and released to theatres July 21. Photo courtesy of Warner bros. Productions

Editor’s Note: This article does contain some spoilers.  

As excited moviegoers flocked to theatres decked out in pink, they were welcomed with sunlight shining across the beautiful bright pink two-story Barbie dream house as they watched their childhoods come to life.  

The project dates to 2019 when Warner Bros confirmed that the movie was in the works. Many actors and directors have come and gone throughout this process. When “Barbie” was first announced, Amy Schumer was confirmed to act as Barbie. However, with a change of directors, Greta Gerwig created a new direction. 

“Barbie” starts by showcasing the perfect lives of different versions of Barbie and how women run the world of “BarbieLand.” The viewers see how each Barbie represents a role that is male dominated in the ‘real world.’ Different versions of Ken appear and always wants the attention of ‘Stereotypical Barbie’ (Margot Robbie) Ken (Ryan Gosling) can not see life without her. 

Barbie faces trouble in “BarbieLand” where she feels real-life emotions and is forced to meet with ‘Weird Barbie’ (Kate McKinnon). 

The appearance of Weird Barbie, perfectly sums up the Barbies I used to own. The marker-covered face, chopped uneven hair while constantly in a split position is something a lot of children did to their Barbies. As Stereotypical Barbie meets with Weird Barbie, she is told to go into the real world and find her owner, so she does. Once things change in Stereotypical Barbie’s life, Ken secretly decides to tag along with her. 

Stereotypical Barbie faces reality very quickly in real world Los Angeles. As she notices how people act and grow old, she decides to continue to find her owner. Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), the daughter of Gloria (America Ferrera), is approached by Stereotypical Barbie at school. She is quickly shut down and shunned by Sasha as the girls who owned Barbie do not like the perfect standards set by Barbie. Behind this, Ken figures out the real world is patriarchal and decides to change Barbieland into the male-dominated land he dreams of. 

Later, Gloria and Sasha are forced to go into Barbieland with Stereotypical Barbie as they are trying to run away from Mattel, the company that created her. As Barbieland is quickly changed by all the Kens, Barbie Feminism starts and creates a plan to change the land back to a woman-dominated place. 

Throughout the movie, you are automatically hit with emotions that Stereotypical Barbie experiences, that women experience on a daily. 

Allan (Michael Cera), is the outlier for other Kens’ behavior. His involvement with the Barbies empowerment group to change the Kenland back to Barbieland is hilarious and truly shows Cera’s humor throughout the movie. 

I think the Kens of Barbieland perfectly sum up the view of men under patriarchy in the real world, in which they are insecure about female power and share toxic positivity when they are faced with negative emotions because they are too “manly” to share what they are feeling. As mentioned before, Ken can not live without Stereotypical Barbie and is scared to live a life of his own, so he forces her to love him. Sound familiar? 

In all seriousness, the costuming, makeup and set overall were fantastic. The female empowerment throughout the movie was strong, however, it did not take over the whole movie which is what I enjoyed because it showed that life is not just about empowerment, it is also about facing your fears, learning, growing as an individual, and understanding that men have roles in this world too. 

This movie is going to continue as a classic. The topics covered in the movie describe girlhood and womanhood, which allows the audience to be able to relate. “Barbie” is something that I will be rewatching and receives an eight-out-of-ten. 

Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @by_avery_escamilla  

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About the Contributor
Avery Escamilla-Wendell
Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Arts & Culture Editor
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