Barbie Debate: ‘Barbie’ is the catalyst for genuine storytelling of the female experience

Critiques of the movie have wildly different views on the actual theme and meaning
Eagle High graduates Sicily Smith, Ellie Smith, Kate Rasmussen, junior Claire Rasmussen and senior Grace Rasmussen went as a group to watch the new Barbie movie.
Eagle High graduates Sicily Smith, Ellie Smith, Kate Rasmussen, junior Claire Rasmussen and senior Grace Rasmussen went as a group to watch the new “Barbie” movie.
Grace Rasmussen

This year’s “Barbie” has generated massive waves worldwide and in the entertainment industry. With it being the highest-grossing movie for a female director, it has made a massive impact on how women’s stories are told on the big screen. Criticism, however, isn’t lost in the reviews of this movie, with many not liking the progressive approach to its female motivation plot alongside its comments on toxic masculinity and the patriarchy altogether.

The fictional world of Barbieland starts as being run by women, but as the movie goes on, and the men realize that they can hold power over women, they take control of the world on the basis that the world wasn’t made for them. Does this sound familiar at all? If it does, then it’s because it’s society, flipped, with men being the oppressed group rising and taking control. By the end of the movie, all is resolved, and the world returns to be run by the women.

What many critics of the beloved movie don’t see is the genuine conversations and situations that many women face every day. Living in a world controlled by men, so much to the point where a movie flipping the script from a predominately male-run world to a female-run world, has outraged people to the point of this unnecessary discourse.

“[The movie] captures what it feels like to be a woman,” said junior Peyton Studer. “All of the struggles and relationships that built inside; it felt very genuine because women are lifted up to a higher standard that is unreachable.”

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This genuine way of thinking has resonated with women everywhere because of the eccentric and weird journey that the protagonists are headed on, including a moment of self-reflection when it seems like all is lost for Barbie.

“Being a woman is being thrown into a race that you’re told is fair when you can quite literally see the different obstacles and you’re told that it’s not true and you need to get over it,” Studer said. “I’ve been set back in my life as far as I can remember because of something I can’t control.”

Many movies try and fail to bring authentic stories that portray women as leaders and equal to men. “Barbie” takes those discussions and those stories and recognizes that because of how our world is run, many of these equal opportunities are out of reach.

“I feel like the relationships I have built with women are significantly stronger than my relationships with men,” Studer said. “There is an unspoken feeling of being more secure knowing that you aren’t in competition with them for a chance to be praised.”

A big complaint of “Barbie” is that it promotes a specific gender that should run the world. No, it doesn’t. Instead, discussions are brought up that to achieve same-sex justness, people need to realize the flaws in both a matriarchal-run world and a patriarchal-run world.

“I don’t believe that [the movie] favors any gender over another, but it gives the perspective of what other women go through from day to day,” said junior Lauren Avery. “Comments are saying that women are now acted as superior or given more than men, but that’s what has happened through women’s lives; ‘Barbie’ just pans the perspective of the roles being reversed.”

The movie has been criticized time and time again for “male-bashing,” stating that the movie has moments where they hate on men for no justified or apparent reason. The only parts where many critics cite this male-bashing, however, is when the women of Barbieland aim to take back the world that they have created through their discussion on the flaws of over-masculine men and the male culture in general. This, much like with many other parts of the movie, is just flipped scenarios of what men constantly do to break down women in society.

“Women have been bashed in many movies beforehand and were told not to say anything that wasn’t allowed, but that’s not the point of the movie,” Avery said. “[The movie] is simply shifting the story towards women and their struggles as well as their triumphs while they go through life.”

Through it’s fun and wacky nature, “Barbie” has managed to summarize genuine women’s thoughts, opinions and scenarios in our everyday society, along with the most accurate portrayal of what feminists truly want in this world: equality on the basis of sex, all wrapped up in a lovely bright pink bow.

 “I think ‘Barbie,’ while it is a great movie to watch and it being super funny and entertaining, it also helps to show us how important the women in our lives are,” Avery said.

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