What Makes Us Love Barbie So Much?
There is no denying it– a Barbie craze is taking over. It’s all around us. Why do we find ourselves drawn to this complex icon? She has been around for decades and the Barbie movie has given voice to such complex social and beauty standards women silently confront every single day. Here are my thoughts, below:
She is Aspirational.
Barbie has always been a symbol of beauty, fashion, and success. She can be anything she wants to be, from a doctor to a president. You just dress her up and let your imagination do the rest. Many of us can see ourselves in her and dream big.
She is Just Plain Fun.
She has a huge wardrobe of clothes and accessories, and she can be used to create endless stories. Girls use Barbie to express their creativity and imagination. You can cut her hair, give her a bath, dye her hair fun colors. You name it, you can do it.
Of course, Barbie is not without her major shortcomings. We know that Barbie’s proportions are so unrealistic she could not even stand up if she were real. Barbie promotes unrealistic beauty standards and body image issues. Sure they have tried to make more realistic Barbies, but those are hardly the mainstream Barbie.
The Barbie Movie – Important Questions
This movie takes the nostalgia that many women feel toward their childhood Barbies and brings it face to face with the complex issues that women encounter in society. Yes, it is visually stunning and heartwarming with a fabulous cast. More importantly, it makes you ask questions.
Can you have it all? The perfect life – the perfect career, the perfect body, the perfect family, the perfect kids? Because Barbie did. In that box. The promise of Barbie made her capable of being perfect at everything.
Why don’t we have an all-female supreme court? Since its inception up until 1981, all the US Supreme Court Justices were one gender – male. Could it be the opposite? When will we have a female president? All the other major superpowers in the west have elected female leaders, except the US.
The Barbie Movie – Expectations v. Reality for Women
And then there was America Ferrera’s monologue – which literally struck a chord in all of us. I can’t explain it. When you hear it, you will know the moment I mean. Life as a woman, is complicated. We walk a tightrope in many ways. We’re expected to look perfect without trying, while juggling kids, a marriage, and a career. It’s a lot. And to see the doll, this icon of a beauty standard and perfection that we held on a pedestal, realize this same struggle for herself? Looking around the room and seeing other women realizing they aren’t alone in that very same struggle is empowering.
So, this post is not about plastic surgery. It’s me suggesting that life is not perfect. No one has it all. Despite the pressures to make it seem like it is, I hope you join me in celebrating the moments in between. Moments where we laugh until our sides hurt. Situations where we find beauty and joy all around us. Experiences where we feel deeply. Even times where things are messy and you can still feel gratitude for being here, to endure.
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