The medium not does not match the message
I was 10 in 1959 when Barbie first came out. I had dolls already that looked like real women I knew like my mother. This thing was so scary to me I did not want one. My girl friends and I were all terrified of the thing because of its alien looks and grotesque proportions. That stupid doll ruined so many body images for girls. Boys and men always want a Barbie doll to date. The standard of beauty portrayed by Barbie still traumatized me today. I hate that damn doll.
YES! You nailed it! But, instead of Jennifer Coolidge, I propose Bette Midler for Ruth. Yah think?
Camp is hyperbolic, and so is the movie. I loved it! I found the “speechifying” grounding and real. At 73, I grew up pre-Barbie, and loved my Ginny dolls. I am second wave, and one review which praised the movie said it “reeks” of second wave feminism. Reeks? Respect please! Perhaps our leaders couldn’t afford to be overtly humorous because there was little humor to be found in our collective situation. All of our waves come together on the beach (unintended movie reference), and there is something in the movie for all of us. At heart, it is a silly movie, all that pink and the boys dancing. My husband loved the movie, and he is a feminist who thought it was a great satiric comedy. Another critic said it’s a movie by women for women, hence the backlash. The backlashers are the ones who lack humor!
Never had a Barbie doll. Never wanted one.
As a little girl, I hated getting dressed up, so the last thing I’d I wanna do is dress up a silly doll.
Oh, that is a great essay, Ms Snarky. I have so much appreciation for your viewpoint. The book, Forever Barbie by MG Lord gets a lot of this in it- wonderful ebook- but there's always more.
You write so well! But you already know that. I didn’t see Barbie instead chose to see Oppenheimer. I understand Barbie was overwhelming seen by red states and in the northeast in particular Oppy won out. I’ll see Barbie soon and compare my reactions to yours.
Erica, this is one of your great columns! So many of them are great. Thank you for writing them!
I saw Barbie this evening and enjoyed the sets, costumes and the main actors. There was a good amount of comedy and I laughed a lot. I enjoyed getting my pink on: my lipstick, earrings and peddle pushers (they’re called capris now) were all Barbie pink! Yay, pink! I love the color despite the flack I’ve received from many. Pink is fun!
I was a delighted to share this with my daughter and to wax nostalgic over our Barbie dolls, cars and clothes. In fact, I made my daughter a pair of pink beaded earrings for tonight’s viewing event.
The problem with the Barbie movie is the message needs to come FROM the plot, not poured over it. The purpose of art is to be creative! The value of a creative piece is in metaphor and other creative devices. If we wanted a lecture we’d go to a demonstration.
The plot didn’t work all the way through. The set-up to have the Kens fight each other made no sense to me. The Pinocchio bit at the end was forced. The tone switched awkwardly.
Haven't seen the movie yet, but enjoyed your take on it. But, weren't you a little old to play with Barbies by 1959?
This is absolutely fabulous! And not in the least bit earnest 😊 Sharing!