“Barbie” movie is still a resilient message for women looking beyond the “plastic”

February 5, 2024

By Jacie Sellars, Staff Writer

I left the theater deep in thought over the film I’d just watched. This movie took me on a journey that made me laugh, cry and contemplate the meaning of life. I couldn’t wait to discuss the themes of the film with my friends. Believe it or not, this movie was about Barbie dolls. 

Released in July 2023, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” far surpassed expectations for a movie about a toy. Viewers dressed in pink rushed to theaters expecting something funny and nostalgic, but they left with a much deeper message. Complete with an excellent script and stunning performances from Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera, “Barbie” transported viewers to a pink world while also reflecting on the true meaning of identity and womanhood.

 In a whimsical journey from Barbie Land to the real world, Barbie and Ken learn how the patriarchy can create impossible standards for everyone. Ferrera’s character poignantly touches on this perfectionism, describing how women “have to always be extraordinary, but somehow [are] always doing it wrong.” This message resonated with viewers and film reviewers alike.

 According to Forbes, “Barbie” brought in $1.36 billion at the global box office. But is this success receiving respect in the film industry? Fans of the movie were upset when comedian Jo Koy made disparaging remarks about the film at the Golden Globes. Koy claimed that “Barbie” was only about physical appearances, seemingly missing the movie’s message. 

Controversy continued when Gosling received an Oscar nomination while Robbie and Gerwig did not. Many movie fans considered this lack of nominations as a “snub” motivated by misogyny. However, there were still many victories for women at the Oscars this year. 

From the “Barbie” cast, Ferrera has received a nomination for best supporting actress. Actress Lily Gladstone has made history as the first Native American woman to be nominated for best actress. This year’s Oscars also broke a record for most female directors nominated for best picture, according to Variety. 

It is important to note that “Barbie” has received a nomination for best picture, a feat unheard of for a blockbuster comedy. The best picture category considers the film’s overarching message, while categories like best actress only focus on individual  performances. This key nomination proves that the top critics of Hollywood have thoughtfully considered the empowering message Gerwig and Robbie worked to convey. 

At a recent SAG screening of “Barbie,” Robbie spoke positively about the Oscar nominations. “There’s no way to feel sad when you know you’re this blessed,” said Robbie. 

Regardless of nominations, it is clear that “Barbie” has made a large impact on the viewing public. The film set a standard for reflective movies that defy expectations. Most importantly, “Barbie” made space for stories about womanhood, inviting women to wear pink and deeply discuss the female experience unashamedly. Critics might call the movie “plastic,” but the representation in the film is far from shallow. I hope to see more movies as bold and surprising as “Barbie” in the future. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Shourd passes on the Miss OBU crown to Gibson

Next Story

MUSE Project “Community Garden” set to hit the stage on Feb. 15

Latest from Opinions

Matty’s: a new go-to in town

By Kate Ellis, News Editor On Friday, April 5, I had the pleasure of getting lunch at Matty’s Restaurant, a new dining option for…

Was it too much Taylor Swift?

By Jordan Dallimore, Staff Writer The Super Bowl is not just a regular football game; it’s a cultural event, watched by over a hundred…

About Me

Go toTop