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Was Barbie Overrated?

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead
Bethany K (Year 9)

Pink, pink, and guess what… more Pink! The new Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie has created quite a storm on social media. Some people loved it, and some hated it. Many viewers were of the opinion that the movie exceeded their expectations as what they’d pictured was a pointless cringe-fest with some famous people. On the other hand, many fans were disappointed it wasn’t like that and wanted a more animated storyline. The movie even prompted a global pink paint shortage due to the insane amount of pink the movie had in it. However, the question is, was the Barbie Movie overrated?

The movie starts with the expected shots of Barbie in her big pink dream house doing everyday life activities. The usual, eating breakfast, rejecting Ken, and floating down to the ground as if humans had simply moved the doll onto the ground. In a feminist Barbieland, everything is run by women barbies. There’s a female president, there’s girls’ night every night, and the Barbies are superior to the Ken’s. The film progresses as Barbie starts to lose her normal attributes, e.g., having perfectly arched feet. She then has to visit ‘Weird’ Barbie’s house and is told that someone in the real world is losing touch with Barbie therefore she’s losing her normality.

The plot unfolds as Barbie and Ken travel through different scenarios to get to the real world. Until they discover that in the real world, men are extremely powerful as Mattel, the company that owns Barbie is run primarily by men. Barbie thinks she finds the culprit who’s making her life difficult. A young girl named Sasha feels that Barbies promote unhealthy body images and affect society more negatively than positively. Barbie later realises it’s actually Sasha’s Mother Gloria who’s feeling nostalgic about Barbie’s as she used to bond with her daughter over them.

The real world has two very different impacts on Ken and Barbie, as Barbie views it as an opportunity to show Gloria and Sasha a feminist Barbieland in which women run the world. Ken however decides he wants to be more appreciated traveling back to ‘Barbieland’ and transforming it into ‘Kenland’. The dreamhouses are changed, the Barbie’s now serve Ken, and Ken believes he deserves better than Barbie who he was obsessed with 5 minutes ago. Luckily, the Barbies restore their land using a clever plan in which they manipulate the Kens, agreeing with everything they say and making them feel worthless by not paying attention to their music and going to visit other Kens. By the end of the movie, Barbie chooses to be human and expresses her new normality by engaging in human life.

The cast for the movie was exquisite. Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, John Cena, Dua Lipa, America Ferrera, and so many more. Originally Amy Schumer was actually cast as ‘Stereotypical Barbie’ but according to the media had scheduling conflicts. In reality, Amy admitted that the director Greta Gerwig had creative differences with the actress. “I can’t wait to see the movie. I think it looks awesome. I think we said it was scheduling conflicts. That’s what we said. But it really was just like, creative differences. But there’s a new team behind it and it looks like it’s very feminist and cool, so I will be seeing this movie”- Amy Schumer. Additionally, the actress was body shamed by the public when they found out about her possibly being the iconic doll.

The set, music, and costumes for the film were absolutely breathtaking. Featured music by Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Nikki Minaj, Sam Smith, Ryan Gosling, and Dua Lipa… the list just keeps going. However, the song ‘What Was I Made for’ by Billie Eilish was amazing, it played in an emotional scene between Ruth Handler and Barbie. Ruth Handler is the original creator of Barbie made in 1959. She co-founded Mattel with her husband Elliot Handler and Barbie is actually short for Barbara which was Elliot and Ruth’s daughter’s name.  The set was indescribably beautiful, the Barbie Dreamhouse was exactly like real life. The costumes were designed for every character flawlessly, whether it was Barbie’s, Ken’s, or even real-life characters, all costumes resembled different personalities completely.

So no, I don’t think the movie was overrated. Would people have enjoyed it more if they didn’t already go into the theatre with such high expectations, maybe but the movie covered tough topics such as feminism, patriarchy, body image issues, and growing up exceptionally. A great coming-of-age film designed for any gender, age, or opinionated individual and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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About the Contributors
Molly B (Year 9)
Molly B (Year 9), Chief Contributor
Bethany K (Year 9)
Bethany K (Year 9), Illustrator

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  • audreyAug 9, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    W MOVIE !!!!!!