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The Barbie Movie expresses the fault in our society

This is the Glitter Glam Vac Barbie Doll. Barbies have been a big influence to children and now its a big influence on the big screen.
Jadynne Brady
This is the Glitter Glam Vac Barbie Doll. Barbies have been a big influence to children and now it’s a big influence on the big screen.

The Barbie movie is a great reflection of how flawed our society is and how it needs to be reformed.

Everybody knows Barbie. So, it’s no surprise that a movie has been made about the popular doll. The Barbie movie is directed by Greta Gerwig and follows Stereotypical Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, and Beach Ken, Ryan Gosling, as they are forced into the real world from Barbie Land after Barbie has an existential crisis. There Barbie realizes that the real world isn’t as glamorous as Barbie Land.

In this movie, Barbie is shown the sexism that plagues the real world and just how difficult it is to be a woman. She gets cat-called not even ten minutes into being in the real world. She learns about anxiety and how woman aren’t heard in real life, which is the reverse of Barbie land.

The movie also explicitly talks about the patriarchy and its negative role in society. With most movies, they don’t bluntly talk about those issues, they usually only add a metaphor here and there. The Barbie movie took a different approach and left not much room for misunderstanding.

The Barbie movie has demonstrated the issues in our culture so well that people have actually seen it in their day-to-day life. In August, surveyed three hundred Americans who saw the film, and asked how it impacted their opinions on gender roles in the workplace. 63% said that they were more aware of patriarchy in the workplace and 53% said that the movie improved their view of women in the workplace.

In August, Penn State Berks Strategic Communications interviewed Michele Ramsey, associate professor of communication arts and sciences and of women, gender and sexuality studies.

“This film isn’t popular because it’s about an iconic toy,” said Ramsey, “It’s popular because of the discussions that Gerwig encourages around that iconic toy and her impact on our culture and on our lives.”

Ramsey isn’t kidding when she says the movie is popular. It has an 88% on rotten tomatoes and an 83% audience score and is 14th on lifetime gross, according to, with Frozen 2 just above it.

The Barbie movie is also popular with South students. Senior Ali Livingston enjoyed the way the movie talked about obstacles and issues in the world.

“I thought that the Barbie movie was really well executed. It discussed some controversial topics and brough light to some issues that have been around practically forever,” says Livingston.

Sophomore Marin Heide agrees and likes how that movie went about the balance of hard topics and fun scenes.

“I thought it was a good reflection of the world and how women are treated,” says Heide, “It’s a good conflict between all this fun, happy-go-lucky, just cheesy little songs and really deep meaningful dialogues. And I thought it was really interesting. I liked it.”

People like the movie also because Barbie is relatable. She struggles with herself and must make many tough decisions, not unlike what we face every day.

Psychology Today delves a little deeper into why Barbie’s predicament is so relatable. They explain when Barbie faces tough decisions that are between something known and something unknown.

“We face decisions of that kind, between something we know and something entirely unfamiliar. When you contemplate getting married, having kids, getting divorced, taking a new job, moving to a different country or city, or even an apartment, all these decisions have the same structure. You know one option very well. You know the disadvantages, but also the advantages. And you only have some very faint ideas about the other option,” says Bence Nanay in the beginning of August.

The Barbie movie, in contrast to its golden reviews, has also gotten some backlash.

Ben Shapiro, columnist, author, and conservative political commentator, had a few words about the movie.

“My producers dragged me to see ‘Barbie’ and it was one of the most woke movies I have ever seen,” Shapiro tweeted on July 21st, the day the Barbie movie came out. “My full review of this flaming garbage heap of a film will be out on my YouTube channel tomorrow at 10am ET.”

In the video he throws Barbie in the trash and lights it on fire. He then says that the message of the movie is that the world should divide men from women.

“I find it upsetting when material is based on children IP [intellectual property] and marketed to little girls,” says Shapiro, “actually ends up being angry feminist claptrap that alienates men from women, undermines basic human values, and promotes falsehood all at the same time.”

The point of the movie went over Shapiro’s head. The point was not to separate women from men, the point was to bring them together equally and to inform the audience that these issues are a real thing.

It’s not just Shapiro who disagrees. David Nusair of Real Film Reviews published his issues on the movie in August of this year.

“There is, for example, an almost astonishingly heavy-handed sequence, involving a character’s hackneyed speech about women and the expectations placed upon them, that brings the narrative to a complete and total stop,” says Nusair.

The sequence that Nusair is talking of is a series of home videos of young girls and women in various stages of life. This takes place after Barbie must decide to either stay in Barbie Land where it’s “perfect”,5 or go to the real world, where it’s genuine.

These videos show Barbie, and the viewers, what womanhood truly is and what living your life truly is.

I, personally, found that the movie was amazing. It delved into many problems, such as women being objectified, society being dominated by one gender, and how Barbie has affected young girls’ self-esteem, while also having witty jokes and comedic relief.

However, the movie also shows how the patriarchy hurts everyone involved, including men. When Ken brought the patriarchy back to Barbie Land, he wasn’t truly happy. He thought he had to act in a certain way to be accepted in this new society.

Here, men in society also have that problem. The patriarchy has input a toxic mindset that influences men to feel like they need to like certain things and be a certain way to be accepted.

I’d say the reason that some critics disliked the movie is because the movie held up a mirror to reality, to the hardship that we face, and to how our societal system hurts them as well. Now I’m not saying that the Barbie movie calls for a matriarchal society, because it does not. It shows how both the matriarchal and the patriarchal society hurts people.

This applies to us in the real world as well. We need to fix our systems and make it equal, no patriarchy and no matriarchy.

The Barbie movie is a great movie that is a wakeup call to people who are still unaware of the misogynistic issues our culture has while also showing how the world needs to change their views on gender equality.

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