When my mom friends and I first heard rumors of a Barbie movie, we instantly started planning a moms night out. Who cares if it was months and months away? We were all in.
So, fast forward to July and the movie is out. Excitedly, we wrap ourselves in hot pink feather boas and head to the theater. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I will say that most of the Barbie Movie far exceeded any expectations I did have… and some of it did not.
A major message in the Barbie Movie centers around gender equality. I loved this message. Specifically because whenever the topic of gender equality comes up, the narrative tends to be full of anger. I am of the strong opinion that raising one group up does not have to mean pushing another down.
Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach did an amazing job in the Barbie Movie to highlight gender inequalities but (spoiler alert!) in the end, rather than defeating the Kens when they rise up, Barbie apologizes to them. In a movie where Barbie could have easily crushed the Patriarchy, she shows humanity.
I loved it. Let’s all raise each other up and the world will be a better place.
Pressures on Women
In a very clunky monologue, America Ferrera’s character rails against all the pressures and contradictions that women face every day. I thought the rant was a good start, but it didn’t cover everything and it did not go deep enough.
If I was to give that speech, I would add that we, as women and also as moms, are now expected to bring in an income, while raising humans full time and also keeping an immaculate house and maintaining our looks and bodies - all the while never complaining about motherhood, the pain of becoming a mom and making sure we bounce back physically and mentally as quickly as possible.
We are also expected to want to have kids and have them quickly, or something is “wrong” with us. We should be able to do it all, have it all, and not complain. This, in my opinion, is one of the most prevalent contradictions for women and moms today.
Message for Our Kids
Greta Gerwig said in an interview recently that she knew she wanted to make the Barbie Movie PG-13 and that it was not intended to be a kid’s movie. That said, I do think there is a good message in the Barbie Movie for kids. The Barbie Movie as a whole is also pretty clean, if you wanted to take an older child.
I am not a girl mom, but every girl mom I went to the movie with said the mother/daughter relationship portrayed by America Ferrera and Ariana Greenblatt struck a chord with them.
I, myself, am a boy mom and I feel that the message in this movie is a great one, whether you are raising boys or girls. Girls need to hear that they are enough on their own and they can be anything they want to be. Boys need to see how it feels to be marginalized and taught how to respect women. As we raise the next generation, let’s do so in love and with intention.
That’s one small step for woman, one giant leap for woman-kind.
Thank you, Greta Gerwig, for taking that step.