Girls around America have idolized plastic figures since 1959. With approximately 150 careers and counting. From farming, and the social justice system to cosmetologists and fashion icons. Throughout creating dolls to the newest addition of a movie production. This publication was in early July of 2023. Mattel started this company with aspirations to embody and encourage young adolescents to be anything they can imagine. Despite the common misconception of promoting unobtainable unrealistic body levels of perfection and thinness. The original perception was intended to be an active feminist example.
While in the film the main goal was to display the realistic flaws of the world they navigated towards a form of feminism to communicate their overall motive. Criticizing patriarchy and understanding Barbie is a source of empowerment for young children's career ambitions. The desired outcome was achieved with a raising of 1.3 billion dollars in earnings.
In the beginning of Barbie, you can find Barbie with her fellow careers. Socializing with very few interactions with male characters, some of the following characters included Kens and a single Allan. Allan was a Barbie doll released and discontinued in 1966. This discontinuation was caused by the lack of interest in the doll. The popularity and purchase sales were greatly spirit compared to the Ken doll. This addition was a comedic relief with Allan simply existing. “Allan is Barbie Land’s resident gay. And in a film that ultimately hinges on an old-school battle of the sexes, his placement within the larger gender hierarchy presents a refreshing complication,” shared Greta Gerwin the director of the popular film.
One way we can easily identify the feminism in the movie is by breaking stereotypes. Barbie has been criticized commonly for her body image and traditional female role, the movie displays Barbie in various roles breaking away at the stereotypical notions of “female” professions and interests.
Mattel’s representation is incredibly diverse compared to past representations of mainly blonde caucasian dolls now include different races, backgrounds, ethnicities, and stories. This is a direct reflection of the broader feminist movement that emphasizes the importance of representation. The narrative included Barbie facing challenges and obstacles. These are not always external but internal as well sometimes, dealing with self-doubt and societal expectations. Barbie is showing a hidden example for young viewers to face challenges on their own with courage and determination.
While some continue to explain that the franchise has ways to go they do commercial undercut feminist messages. Offering undeniable positive empowering portrayals of women. They serve as a tool for introducing young audiences specifically ideas of empowerment, agency, and breaking societal norms, which are all the foundation of feminism.
Cuby, Michael. “The Barbie Movie Is Full of Surprises (and One Is Michael Cera).” Yahoo! News, Yahoo!, 21 July 2023, news.yahoo.com/barbie-movie-full-surprises-one-100925721.html.
Wang, Jessica. “Everything to Know about Margot Robbie’s ‘Barbie’ Movie.” EW.Com, 23 Aug. 2023, ew.com/movies/everything-we-know-barbie/.
My name is Catlynn Carrizales. I am a sophomore at Poudre High School, and currently enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program. If you would like to see more of my work you can go here!