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Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


The ‘Barbie’ Movie has left a positive imprint on the world

Isa Peters
Even though Barbie dolls are considered a child’s toy, the Barbie movie shows that they are for all ages and meant to be admired and played with.

This July will mark one full year since Barbie was released, causing chaos, happiness, and unwanted discourse. Barbie has left a mark on the world and everyone is thrilled to see what Greta Gerwig does next (possibly a new Narnia series starring Jacob Elordi). Barbie and the Oppenheimer Premier brought both men and women together in ways not seen before in cinema. The Barbie hype slowly died out but Ryan Gosling’s performance at The 96th Academy Awards reminded the world that the joy Barbie brings is here to stay. 

When Barbie came out, it. was. everywhere. If you were over three years old in the summer of 2023, you would have heard the name “Barbie.” Barbie burgers, makeup, clothing brands, the list goes on and on. The beloved fashion doll began in 1959 and has been an icon in children’s lives. But that is all Barbie was: a children’s toy meant to be forgotten over time. She was not a feminist icon in any way, she was probably the complete opposite until Greta Gerwig accepted the challenge of turning this simple message into a complex film.

In a New York Times interview, Gerwig said “I wanted to make something anarchic and wild and funny and cathartic, and the idea that it is being received that way, it is sort of extraordinary.Barbie was a risk to make since it is a girly movie and most people do not care to see a movie starring a woman in comparison to a movie starring a man, as stated by film critic Alyssa Wilkinsonin a Vox interview. So to get people to come to the theaters, during summer of all times, the Barbie team needed to find a way to grab the public’s attention and the best way to do so was to oversaturate the market. 

You could not escape the Barbie marketing, it was everywhere and pink was the color of the summer of 2023. No kidding, the Pantone color of the year was “Viva Magenta” which resembles a bright, almost red, type of pink. Of course that had nothing to do with Barbie, but what did have to do with the film and the color pink was the global shortage of pink paint. In a Los Angeles Times interview, Lauren Proud, the vice president of Rosco marketing, said “They used as much paint as we had.” Yet they did not win Best Production Design at the 96th Oscars.

That was just the beginning of Barbie’s takeover. Soon theaters across the country ー and the globe ー were putting up Barbie boxes for fans to take in and post photos. “Barbiecore” and the Barbie aesthetic was booming on Pinterest and you bet you could catch every person wearing at least one item of pink. Even men were letting go and wearing little bits of pink or seeing the movie, as long as they saw Oppenheimer so they could have an excuse—a win nonetheless for Barbie. 

The “Barbenheimer” trend took over way before the summer of 2023. When it was announced that Oppenheimer, a gritty biopic of the creation of the atomic bomb by J. Robert Oppenheimer, was premiering the same day as the pink happy and silly Barbie movie, memes flooded Twitter. The comedic feud between the two movies led to even more revenue for both the Barbie and Oppenheimer teams. At the 96th Academy Awards Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt even joked about this feud stating, “I’m just happy we can put this Barbenheimer rivalry behind us… And the way this award season has turned out, wasn’t much of a rivalry so let it go!” Barbie didn’t win many awards this award season but we all are still happy for Cillian Murphy’s Oscar win.

The biggest award that Barbie received though, was the award of making young girls realize that they’re important to this world. So many girls of all ages from toddlers to elders have seen in this movie that they don’t have to change since everyone can be a Barbie. In a Recess Therapy interview at the Golden Globe Awards, Greta Gerwig stated “This is the greatest thing I could’ve asked for.” The two young interviewers gushed over Issa Rae’s ‘President Barbie’ even stating “I wanted to be you in Barbie.” Barbie had such a positive outcome for girls and even guys started to realize there is more to life than just horses and patriarchy.

Granted, Barbie is very surface-level feminism. It is not the most in-depth or groundbreaking revelations of feminism. But it does get the point across simply so everyone can appreciate it. It is almost impressive to try and miss the movie’s point since it is such a simple concept. Girls across the world can appreciate Barbie for what it is and laugh at Ken’s faux-confidence because they now have a movie where their flaws are celebrated and even lightly joked about.

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About the Contributor
Isa Peters
Isa is a sophomore, a Perspectives reporter, and on the Black and Gold podcast. She is excited for her first year on the Journalism team! When she’s in the podcast room you can see all the ideas flowing out of her head and simply just enjoying being with friends. She is a passionate artist, music lover (specifically K-pop), and avid movie critic on Letterboxd. When not in the podcast room she’s on the sidelines cheering with the Varsity Dance Team or in her room reading about Jo March’s adventures.

Comments (2)

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  • J

    Joshua BeardsleyApr 11, 2024 at 9:23 am

    I really enjoyed this analysis. I agreed that the movie felt pretty surface-level with its handling of gender but I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction for an industry such as Hollywood. I really hope studios and producers see the movie’s success as a reason to make more blockbusters about women’s issues.

    So often I’ll watch a big-budget movie these days and feel disappointed with the depictions of female characters as shallow, patronizing, and borderline misogynistic. I think it’s for this reason that Barbie felt so refreshing. Plus I thought it was just a really well-made movie! (I’m also a really big Greta Gerwig fan!!)

  • L

    Liam PummerApr 9, 2024 at 8:44 pm

    I need a suit like Ryan Gosling’s.