The Barbie Movie and Barbie Movie analyis has dominated the Hollywood news cycle over the past year, becoming an unexpected cultural phenomenon. But, honestly, when I first heard there would be a Barbie movie, my immediate reaction was negative. My perception of Barbie related to body image issues, so I gave it no further thought. Then, the movie premiered, and a different narrative began to unfold with all the barbie movie analysis. I was surprised as these strong, feminist women in my world began raving about the movie. My curiosity was piqued… I had to see why.
My husband,18-year-old son, and I went to the theater to see what this hype was all about. I’ll admit, while I enjoyed the Barbie Movie for its nostalgic nods to classic movies and for the obvious poking at societal gender dynamics, I missed a lot of the nuances that my female colleagues later pointed out.
Going through day-to-day activities, more people would raise the topic, “did you see the Barbie movie?” It quickly became a catalyst for intriguing conversations, so an idea was born: invite past The M Word female guests to screen Barbie and participate in a Barbie Movie analysis, culminating into a two-episode special podcast feature.
But why just female guests? Conversations leading up to the screening were geared to the female perspective. Since all those casual discussions centered on how we felt about the movie as women, it seemed fitting to host an all-female discussion group. That said, a mixed-gender dialogue would be interesting in its own right and worth exploring in the future.
Ten of us screened the movie together, three of whom were seeing it for the first time. Afterward, four of us engaged a Barbie Movie analysis in a recorded discussion for The M Word.
What began as an exploration of Barbie’s portrayal in our professional lives organically evolved into a broad discussion on feminism. We discussed women’s rights, the historical role of women in the workforce, and even revisited our mothers’ views on Barbie during our childhoods, and the history of Barbie herself. Did you know that there was even an astronaut Barbie before a woman had actually gone to space?
These episodes feature four unique voices with diverse life experiences: an outspoken feminist entrepreneurial grandmother in her 60s; a community leader, nonprofit executive, mother of two, woman of color who thought this discussion was so vital to us as a community she brought a film crew; an empty-nester teacher-turned-entrepreneur and wellness podcaster; and myself—an early 50s entrepreneur (ahem, “female entrepreneur”) attempting to raise feminist sons.
Our conversation meandered from Barbie’s character portrayal to envisioning a society led entirely by women. We reveled in the movie’s nuances and intricacies — like the transformation of Barbie’s feet; we loved Weird Barbie, and agreed the movie was deeper than we’d anticipated, with enough hidden references or “easter eggs” to make repeat viewings enjoyable.
Our discussions extend beyond Barbie, touching on personal experiences and evolving perspectives on self-image, relations, and the wisdom gained with age. We even mention “Legally Blonde” and “Little Women!” But, most of all, the Barbie Movie served as a humorous mirror reflecting society’s unresolved issues. We have a lot of talking and revolution yet to go. The movie was only funny because of the truth that it pokes fun at – that society hasn’t been fixed. Women aren’t equals in government or life (or on construction sites!).
In the end, it seems that Barbie may be a small way to keep the conversations alive that facilitate change and will lead to a future where Barbieland and the real world are more closely aligned.
Be sure to listen to our special two-part Barbie Movie analysis on our website or wherever you stream your favorite podcasts!