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Sunday, July 30, 2023

Barbie (2023)

I went to see Barbie last week and I was NOT disappointed.

I had to drag myself to the movie theater, not having much energy left and therefore no enthusiasm. But as soon as I got there and started seeing people dressed in pink for it, I was so delighted that I got it back! I loved how this became such a fun event for everyone who enjoyed playing with Barbies and even people who didn't.

The trailer was misleading to me. It gave me the impression that it would be just another cliche adventure and comedy movie, but there were a few plot twists I didn't see coming that made it extra interesting and entertaining.

Oh, if you're a man and you despised this movie or have negative opinions about it, I strongly recommend getting educated on the topics it touches before you make a fool of yourself by hating on it for no good reason! There is also context and nuance in it to not ignore that can drastically change your interpretation of it. 

  SPOILER ALERT!   Keep reading at your own risk. There are spoilers ahead... 

Personally, I loved it and, to be quite frank, I found it tame in its feminism. Not one single thing that was said there made me shrink back in embarrassment for the movement and its irrational extremes. Which, mind you, I am often against and vocal about. In fact, I would have been okay with some blinding rage in it because it would be understandable too. Yet, the characters were being quite sensible when speaking of their situation.

If you were offended by this movie, I don't know how to break it to you. Put your ego aside for a moment and try rewatching it with more empathy and a cooler head next time. You might find that many of the portrayals and messages in it are actually seeking a middle ground while pointing out absurdities in both the Barbie World and the Real World. If you walked out of there with the idea that the overlooked Ken was meant to mold women's ideal partner, you missed the point of it. It is instead basically saying that whether you're male or female, Barbie or Ken, you deserve to be treated well - with dignity.

Barbie's story is actually conceding many points to men, making it evident that doing the same that they have been doing to women to make it "even" doesn't work and remains unfair and unjust. But if you're reacting to it as a male from a place of sexism (or as a female with internalized misogyny), you won't see it. Because to you, it'll still not be what you demand or expect.

That said, Barbie's journey made me deeply happy. I had to hold back tears when she traced back the moments when Gloria and Sasha were playing with her, finally revealing the link they had. And I was so pleasantly relieved that the movie focused on the friendship and relationship between these women. I needed that for a change. I was worried it would mostly be a Barbie & Ken romantic drama. May be crazy to assume, given the advertisement the movie got, but who knows, really, these days?

I was sad and sorry for Barbie when she was met with the crude reality that girls disliked her, not thinking highly of her. So it was nice to see that it got resolved and she was soon loved again. As she deserves! Lots of us, females, have wounds regarding femininity and more, so we can get quite hostile, but Barbie was so sweet and so quick to become self-aware (rather than going into denial) that it is difficult to hate her. Hopefully, becoming "human", essentially being more in touch with human suffering, will go smoothly enough for her. But like Gloria said, she is indeed smart and beautiful (I take that to mean in the wider sense). She'll be fine. 💗

The high heels vs. flat sandals were a clever metaphor, too. The concept of Weird Barbie was also great! This movie is making history in such an astonishing way that I almost feel bad for those missing it!