The student news site of Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina

The Hi-Times

The student news site of Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina

The Hi-Times

The student news site of Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina

The Hi-Times

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The Barbie Movie: Impact vs. Intent

Margot+Robbie+in+Barbie
People.com
Margot Robbie in Barbie

   The Barbie Movie directed by Greta Gerwig was arguably the most anticipated and now one of the top-grossing movies of 2023. But why? Greta Gerwig has been working on Barbie since 2016 and originally cast Amy Schumer for the part of Barbie. Schumer ended up backing out because of “creative differences.” Gerwig took her time finding the perfect actors to cast, especially for the roles of Barbie and Ken. Margot Robbie, who was cast as Barbie in 2019, was originally supposed to only be an assistant director but ended up being perfect for the role. Later in 2021, actor Ryan Gosling was cast as Ken. 

   So what message is the Barbie movie trying to convey? From the looks of the trailer, people assumed that Barbie would be a fun, cute, and girly movie that would basically act out how people used to play with their Barbies. The movie was all of those things, however, it contained a deeper meaning. Gerwig wanted to display the struggles of being a woman and showcase the stereotypes women live with.

   At the start of the movie, Barbie is perfect. She has a perfect life like the stereotypical Barbie doll in Barbie Land. After Barbie and Ken go to the real world to try and close the portal that separates Barbie Land from the real world, Barbie realizes that everything is not how she imagined. And once Ken realizes that the patriarchy exists, he brings the idea of it back with him to Barbie Land. All while Barbie is struggling with the harsh truths of what it truly means to be a woman in this world.

    In the movie, Barbie Land didn’t ignore or belittle Kens, the Barbies were just not focused on them like they were each other and their accomplishments. But when Ken went back and changed it to Kendom, the Kens overtook the Barbie’s houses, and jobs, and made them serve the Kens. Ken turned on Barbie for not wanting anything romantic with him instead of valuing the friendship she had with him to begin with. After it was over, Barbie still had the job of comforting Ken after everything he did. 

   Most people have focused on the fact that it was not all smiles and laughs. But the focus should be on Greta Gerwig and how she was able to connect with so many women on such a deep and vulnerable level, while simultaneously creating the Barbie world of our childhood dreams. The Barbie Movie goes beyond surface level and perfectly summarizes what it’s like to be a woman. And even after all the progress women and society have made, we still live in a man’s world.