Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
I’m a Barbie girl in a patriarchal world, life’s not fantastic. It fucking sucks. I’ll be completely honest with you, I wasn’t expecting much from the Barbie movie. I thought it would be kitschy and cute. I had no idea the impact it would have on me. Now, I want to live in a Barbie World, where every night is girl’s night, the President is a woman and there’s a full female SCOTUS!
On Saturday, the girls and I dressed in our most pink outfits and went to see the Barbie movie. I am so blown away that I was completely without words until today. Wow! Just wow! I had a lot of emotions during this film, joy, sadness, anger, nostalgia, camaraderie. It was an emotional journey in the deepest sense. Mostly, I felt seen. I laughed, I cried, I smiled, I cried some more and then I fucking sobbed. Female empowerment is all the things.
There’s a lot to unpack. I had to sit with these feelings for a while. I can tell you that Greta Gerwig is forever my new female power hero. She deserves an Oscar for the writing and directing. The topics she tackled blew my feminist, girl mom, Barbie loving woman heart wide open. There are truly no words right now. I’m still trying to push back the tears. It was deep. It was complex. It was beautiful and messy. It tackled so much in so little time.
This movie may be the most powerful movie I’ll ever see in my lifetime.
This is the movie that I would watch over and over with my girls for all eternity. This is the movie I’ll watch with my friends, my sisters, my mom, my nieces and my granddaughters. This movie was brave and unafraid and I want to live in Barbie World because I’m all about the matriarchy.
Don’t get me started on America Ferrera. OMG!!! Representation matters and her speech, her raw realness is all of us. Margot Robbie was perfect casting because she is the most relatable beautiful woman ever and she took that script and delivered the meaning flawlessly. Ryan Gosling brought the perfect Kenergy.
When I watched the Barbie movie, I honestly experienced every emotion and it’s likely this post will do the same, so bear with me. It was everything I could hope for and, nothing I expected. This movie gutted me in the most beautiful way. I think it touched a nerve because it put a spotlight on just how truly hard it is to be a woman in this world. Something we are all painfully aware of but have to push down so that we can survive the experience. It is beautiful and messy, and we’re never given the credit we deserve but still we toil so that our daughters can someday have it better.
Barbie world is bizarro world in an alternative universe in the most beautiful and profound way. Men are marginalized and objectified. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think men or anyone should be marginalized or objectified and have their feelings, thoughts, wants and needs ignored or minimized but it was nice for once in my existence to be part of the majority, because as a Latina woman, I never have been nor will I ever be.
This monologue had me sobbing because it’s so hard and its never enough and no matter what we do, we’re never good enough. Even when we’re good enough. we’re not. Society puts these impossible standards on girls and women, and we internalize them and beat ourselves into submission over them and its never fucking good enough. What if we all just loved ourselves? We’d be unstoppable and I think that’s the point. they keep us in our boxes because they are terrified of what we’ll do if we didn’t have to be shackled to these stupid stereotypes and expectations of others. I want more for our daughters. We ride at dawn, and we wear pink!
Ryan Gosling definitely wins sexiest man alive 2023 in my book for being willing to exemplify and embody the ridiculousness that is misogyny on the big screen and real life. He put aside any societal expectation of masculinity and machismo. He played number two and will forever be number one in our hearts.
The Kendom definitely shone a light on toxic masculinity. Life was good and then it was terrible because suddenly the Kens were introduced to patriarchy and misogyny, and they embraced it with arms wide open because they wanted the power. Being powerless made them feel small and unseen (much like women are in the real world) so they embraced the bruh life. Suddenly, the Kens went from partners and friends to domineering, demanding machismos who only cared about their own feelings, wants, and needs. I found it particularly cringey when all the Kens were singing Matchbox Twenty’s Push. I used to love that song but hearing it sung in unison by all the Kens and really listening to all the lyrics enraged me.
As a mom, for many years, I felt conflicted and torn between my love for Barbie, the doll who made me believe that I could be anything, but looked impossibly perfect and the impossible standards she represented. I wanted to share my love for Barbie and absolute belief that anything is possible for girls with my daughters, but it felt duplicitous. By playing with Barbie, in all her perfection, was I actually part of the problem? Was I subconsciously sending the message that girls are never good enough? Because that wasn’t my intention.
There is a scene right before American Ferrera’s speech in which Barbie is crying and talking about how she is not pretty or good enough for anything and anyone because she is just a “Stereotypical” Barbie, after all. She has no specific profession, and she thinks that she really doesn’t serve a purpose, especially upon finding out that Barbies did not really change the real world.
Being a woman, especially a middle-aged woman and a mom, is difficult in so many ways. There comes a time where the lines of where you end and the people you love begins blurs. You lose yourself and then you start to feel invisible. Exhaustion sets in and you feel sort of gray. If you know, you know, and I know you know. You are part of those people more than you are yourself. And when they grow up and your looks start to change, you start to age out of the system of life that society has placed you in. You feel absolutely lost and unheard, drowning in the existential crisis that is who you were, who you are and who you will become. Who are you without them? What is your worth? If you disappeared, would anyone even notice?
I love being a woman, despite how hard life can be. No matter how discounted our hard work, intelligence and opinions go, largely ignored and diminished. Being a woman means spending your entire life fighting through our fears and hiding our weaknesses, never able to breakdown. The game is rigged, and we never get to win, no matter how hard we work or how good we are.
Being born a girl means toiling, grinding and, even with an IQ of 147 and 3 master’s degrees, still being treated like you’re less than every man in the room. Our beauty and sexuality are our only currency and its dirty fucking money. We spend our lives reduced to what lies between our legs and we know beauty is power. We are also painfully aware that beauty fades because society constantly reminds us to twist and tie ourselves up into knots to stay beautiful. We are taught to fear aging because our worth is directly tied to our beauty and our sexuality.
From now on, I’m going to greet every woman I meet with a hearty and happy, “Hey, Barbie!” because I think every single woman is perfection. And the fact that you’ve survived this long in this cruel and unfair world makes you not only beautiful but amazing. Men couldn’t do this. Their fragile egos would break. Meanwhile, we’ve spent our entire lives swallowing our pride and ignoring our egos and everything we know to be fair and good in the name of not causing problems.
This, got me in my mom heart. I love women but the most important women to me are the two I gave birth to and I felt this quote in my soul. The mother-daughter relationship is one of the most beautiful and complex that there ever will be. These are the women I will not only die for, I would kill for, and, sometimes they push us away. It really is the deepest cut when the person you love more than everything is just not that into you. But still, we toil and we bend until we nearly break because we want so much better for them. My Barbie dream is that one day the little girls will look back at this movie in the middle of the female power revolution and feel it’s completely unrelatable. I want a Barbie world for them, where equality is the norm and women can be seen as strong, intelligent crusaders for justice without being seen as militant.
Just know, no matter how much she smiles, supports and loves you, nobody wants to be second all the time. No one is satisfied with always being the supporting cast, especially in their own story.
There was a very seemingly innocuous but, all too real, misogynistic scene where the CEO of Mattel and all the Mattel executives (all men) were sitting around a table discussing Barbie with no female representatives present. Barbie enters the room and is in search of help. Their answer is to tell her to, “Get into the box and we’ll got back to Barbie land!” It was a moment of complete condescension. She agrees because she wants to go back to her Utopian female centric world. Who can blame her? Reality for women sucks. As they are shackling her back into the box, she has an epiphany. She can feel that this is not right, and she breaks free. As I watched her being shackled, I was physically nauseated and next, I was completely and unexpectedly enraged. You know, I am usually the wokest bitch in the room and this quiet and powerful moment nearly brought me to the point of wanting to set the theater on fire. The misogyny in which we women endure on a daily basis is so often and frequent that it becomes a part of our daily life, and we continue to let it pass because we are gaslit into thinking we are overreacting. When you feel in your gut that its wrong, its wrong. If you feel threatened, run. Don’t let them push you into that box.
Ladies, may we all aspire to live in a real Barbie world someday where all women are treated like humans and not objects. Where women support women and toxic masculinity is not only frowned upon but not tolerated. Dreaming of a kinder and more equal world. In my humble opinion, if you haven’t seen it… go see it. If you have bigger girls take them to see it. If you’re a feminist, a person who loves a feminist, a woman, a girl mom, or anyone who believes in equality, GO.SEE.THIS.MOVIE!!
I am buying the Barbie movie as soon it’s available. I am seriously so damn in my feelings with this masterpiece of female empowerment and cerebral satire, I just want to let it marinate. I want to show this movie to every single living woman and girl over the age of 12 and say…THIS…YOU.ARE.SEEN. But not just to share the movie and say we are seen but to incite a revolution for change. Who cares if we’re seen if that’s where it stops. Let’s keep the momentum going. We CAN change this narrative. You don’t have to go back into that fucking box manufactured by the patriarchy. I want so much more for all of our little girls. Barbie is the female empowerment movie that I’ve waited for my entire life. This is the movement.