Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Barbie And Her Feminist Fantasy World

By Baiting Irrelevance Jul23,2023
Feminist Icon BarbieFeminist Icon Barbie

Barbie is officially out, and online conversation is already taking shape over the film’s direction. In today’s society, sadly, we can no longer sit back and enjoy a movie for what it is. Either studios inject their politics into the film, or Journalists find a way to do it. They will find a way to blast a movie for not reflecting their view of the world, or they will read meaning where there is none. The recent Barbie movie is the perfect example of that. This IP has a long-standing history and might be one of the most iconic names in the entertainment industry.

When it was announced that a live-action movie would be made, it immediately caught the attention of everyone. Fans of the IP had high hopes for their film, mixed in with nervousness. Modern-day Hollywood tends to reimagine movies and update them for a modern audience. This means changing everything that made the original special. Thus, fans had no idea of what to expect from this new film. Many expected the worst, unsure of where the new Barbie would look like her former self. There was a strong possibility that they would go the Disney Live Action route and cast someone completely different.

Barbie And Her Feminist Fantasy World
Barbie And Her Feminist Fantasy World

Ultimately, the studio decided not to go that route and made what was a good casting choice. With the casting sorted, it was now just the direction that remained a question mark. Leading up to the premiere, there were many indications from the filmmakers themselves that they would be changing a considerable amount of the original story. Luckily, Barbie is the one IP where you can get away with this.

The New Barbie

Barbie does not have source material the way other IPs have. Their origins are synonymous with a fashion doll, and the cartoons can’t be considered original works. Thus, every storyteller has more creative freedom. From the beginning, it was clear that Greta Gerwig would tell a story involving a fearless, strong, independent Barbie. This, at its core, should not be an issue for anyone. She is the lead within her universe; thus, it is only natural that the story revolves around her. You might not enjoy the film due to this direction, but that means the film is not for you.

With that, let’s go over the vision of Greta Gerwig and see why some call this film a feminist fantasy. Most notably, as the title suggests, Barbie takes front and center stage. She is not simply a damsel whose entire existence revolves around Ken. Instead, she stands independently and is not afraid to fight back. The theme of this film is the patriarchy, and Barbie is leading the charge to dismantle it. From the left, the movie receives high praise for how fearless the lead is in her quest. They took a character known chiefly for her beauty and gave her a fighting spirit.

The New Barbie
The New Barbie

If you expect a stay-at-home wife who looks after the children, this film will not be for you. Barbie is known for being able to do any job, and they are showcasing her talents on full display here. Through the film, it is clear that she can take on the world by herself. Ken is just there to support her. It is this portrayal, however, that has many people upset.

Why Some Dislike The Barbie Movie

Although some are calling this a feminist dream, others are calling it a nightmare. Many are not happy with the fact that Ken is made to look significantly dumber than Barbie. Some feel that they intentionally went out of their way to make the men look stupid in this film. Some went as far as to call for a boycott, labeling it nothing more than propaganda. This debate, of course, is nothing new. Despite her success, Barbie has always been at the forefront of internet debate. Many on the left took exception to her slim figure and good looks, stating that she was setting unrealistic body standards.

Why Some Dislike The Barbie Movie
Why Some Dislike The Barbie Movie

Most figures set unrealistic body standards. We all understand that we will not look like our He-Man action figures. All of my action figures were tall and shredded out of their minds. That is the appeal of them. It is similar to how little girls are drawn to the beauty of dolls. It is visually pleasing, and that is why they like it. If you grow up with body issues due to a doll, those issues might have existed before. Dolls do not make people insecure. Insecure people look at dolls and feel like less due to internalized issues. It is not a coincidence that it is adults leading the charge to fatten up Barbie.

In 2016, they decided to bend to online pressure and release a line of dolls they stated had a more realistic body type. This means they just made her a lot heavier. It was pretty horrifying, and they likely won’t be making that mistake again.

Why Feminist Barbie Has The Right To Exist

Despite all the conversations surrounding this film, we must remember that only some messages will be to our liking. All the talk of feminist themes might be very offputting to you, which is understandable. However, it is a Director’s choice, and we must respect it. Not every film needs to have an equal portrayal of men and women. Men will look bad in certain movies; in others, it will be women. Films with feminist themes have the right to exist, and you, as a member of the audience, have the right not to like it. There is plenty of other films that do not do this.

There is a fine line that we need to walk. We don’t have to complain about every movie because it is feminist. Doing this will make us no different than those woke journalists crying over the sight of any attractive woman in a video game. Often it is best to move on if something is off-putting to you. You certainly have the right to express yourself and even voice your displeasure. You can give the film a low rating and move on to something else. Overall, Barbie is not the worst movie out there.

Why Feminist Barbie Has The Right To Exist
Why Feminist Barbie Has The Right To Exist

I get irritated when producers take existing IPs and turn women characters previously inconsequential to the story into these feminist powerhouses who now overshadow the men. In that case, criticism is warranted. You are changing the IP to fit your narrative. This is disrespectful to the original work. If you want a strong woman character, write your own story. However, Barbie is an exception. There is no strong source material to pull from; thus, you have free range to tell your story.


This is a controversial take, and I do welcome disagreement. It can be offputting listening to all these journalists about how stunning and brave a particular character is. You want to enter a theater and enjoy something. When all the actors and interviewers go on about something, it can turn you off. I felt this way leading up to The Marvels movie with Brie Larson. They just could not shut up about how important she was because of her gender, and in that process, they kept going on about white males.

Although I have no issue with women superheroes, I do have an issue listening to how evil I am all the time. It turned me off, and I have never watched anything involving Brie Larson again. The conversation surrounding Barbie might make you feel the same way. Personally, I am willing to look past those themes for this film and enjoy it for what it is.


What is Barbie?Barbie is a fashion doll character introduced by Mattel, Inc., in 1959, becoming a cultural icon and symbol of the toy industry.
Who created Barbie?Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel, created Barbie, drawing inspiration from her daughter Barbara’s play with paper dolls and imaginative adult roles.
When was Barbie first introduced?Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959.
What is Barbie’s full name?Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, named after Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara.
How has Barbie evolved over the years?Barbie has evolved to reflect changing societal norms, featuring diverse careers, styles, and looks, aiming to be more inclusive and representative.
What are some popular Barbie lines and themes?Popular lines include Fashionistas, Dreamhouse, Career dolls, Barbie Princess, and collaborations with franchises like Disney, as well as movie adaptations.
How has Barbie contributed to discussions on diversity?Mattel has introduced diverse body types, skin tones, and careers to Barbie to promote inclusivity and positive self-image, addressing past criticism on body image standards.
Frequently Asked Questions

Table Of Information

Introduction Year1959
CreatorRuth Handler, co-founder of Mattel
Full NameBarbara Millicent Roberts
DebutAmerican International Toy Fair in New York, March 9, 1959
EvolutionReflects changing societal norms, introduces diverse careers, styles, and looks, aiming for inclusivity and representation
Popular Lines/ThemesFashionistas, Dreamhouse, Career dolls, Barbie Princess, collaborations with franchises like Disney, and movie adaptations
Discussion on DiversityIntroduces diverse body types, skin tones, and careers to promote inclusivity and positive self-image, addressing past criticism on body image standards
Significance in CultureCultural icon representing fashion, beauty, and diverse careers; appears in movies, TV shows, inspires art and fashion, and is a collector’s item
Official WebsiteBarbie Official Website
PhilanthropyInvolved in philanthropy through initiatives like the Barbie Dream Gap Project, aiming to empower and support girls
Barbie Dreamhouse ExperienceAn interactive exhibit and attraction featuring life-sized replicas of Barbie’s Dreamhouse, complete with themed rooms and activities

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