As a girl, I was a “Barbie Girl.” My best friend, Tina, loved her baby dolls and I loved my Barbies. When my mom and I finally packed them away, I had close to 40 different dolls – Barbies, Kens, Skippers and their friends. I had THE Dream House full of Mattel branded furniture, a HUGE RV, The Rocker’s Stage, the Corvette and a gazillion little shoes and tiny accessories.
In recent years, I hadn’t thought much about my Barbie days. Only the youngest of my three daughters has been remotely interested in the dolls. So when the marketing barrage for the motion picture began, I really could have cared less. I assumed that it would be a “woke” movie, pushing a “liberal” agenda and really just be all about big companies making big money. With all those assumptions crowding my mind, I decided that I didn’t want to see it and, if I did, it wouldn’t be until it hit a streaming service to which we are already subscribed.
Then, my oldest daughter, my most tomboy-like girl, who just turned 20, asked me to see it with her before she returned to her summer internship. In acknowledging that our mother/daughter “dates” are rare and with appreciation for the fleeting opportunity to spend some time with her, I agreed to go. We talked my “middle” daughter into joining us and, without regret, I took a break from classroom prep to spend a few hours in the theater.
As the movie unfolded before me on the silver screen, I was pleased that my assumptions were proven wrong. No, it isn’t a movie for little girls. I intentionally left my not-yet-ten year old at home. It was given a PG-13 rating for good reasons. But, when she is older I am sure her older sisters and I will enjoy sharing this grown-up movie together. There are definitely social viewpoints presented, but none that I feel can be exclusively labeled “left” or “right.” The themes are legitimate and definitely worth discussing in settings where people accountably listen, think and respond to the ideas produced.
I have heard/read various responses to the film. On Facebook, I have seen where many of my friends responded to various points of the movie with tears – not out of sadness, but from validation. For example, when America Ferrera delivers her character Gloria’s monologue, we felt truly seen by a movie industry and, let’s face it, a toy company that has pressured women into feeling “less than” because we can’t possibly live up to the all the stereotypical standards they seem to suggest.
Yes, the movie talks about patriarchy, but let’s look at what it says about patriarchy. It also head on addresses other gender related issues – how a woman is unfairly blamed for how she is treated or even assaulted, sexual harassment, and gender pay gaps. (I told you this wasn’t a kids’ movie!) This movie is a fantastic place to start some much needed discussions – with my daughters at home and in our society as a whole.
Below are three examples of themes from the Barbie movie that are worth the price of admission: (Spoiler Alert – you may want to watch the film before reading further!)
Barbie was a truly great movie. It was nostalgic for me. It was funny for my daughters. It wasn’t too serious. It was downright silly at times. There is great music and impressively choreographed dance scenes. It made me think and proved me wrong. I can’t think of the last time another movie unexpectedly hit me quite like this one. I don’t know if it will win any or many awards, but I sure hope it does. It lives up to the hype and now I want a Barbie t-shirt. (I may need to go unpack my Barbies for a little reunion of sorts!)
A Good Day
Yesterday was a good day. Wally, the girls and I got out of Clarksville to spend the afternoon at our favorite mall in Nashville. We visited the ABLE store and ate at our favorite new-to-us pizza place, Nicky’s, in the Nations neighborhood. After a stop at local coffee shop, using the GPS on my phone […]
The Older Man and The Younger Man
As I stood there, I watched the two men walk away down the path from the patio, pass the lilies, to the driveway. The older one being led by the younger one. I never had noticed that their heads were shaped similarly with the same balding spots on their respective crowns. The older one’s back […]
Operation Do It (O.D.I.)
Tomorrow starts the third week of the girls’ summer break from school. Over the years we have developed some structure for the girls’ free mornings so they wouldn’t spend all day every day glued to some screen or begin begging us for something to “do” at 10 am each day. I am not sure which […]