‘Barbie’ dominates the box office, with millions of tickets sold in its first weekend of release
In a whimsical fantasy comedy film, Barbie’s, writer-director Greta Gerwig humanises the infamous doll by critiquing the unrealistic beauty standards it represented for many young girls around the world.
With the rise of the feminism movement in the 2000s, Mattel Barbie doll’s popularity waned as consumers did not like what the doll stood for: sexism, negative body image, and its lack of diversity.
Bearing these debates in mind, Gerwig’s movie takes a different route, in the film, she takes us through the journey of Barbie, played by actress, Margot Robbie, whose perfect world is tainted after she repeatedly has thoughts about death.
To fix this, she is advised to travel to the real, to meet her owner, who might be the one struggling mentally. She is accompanied by fellow doll Ken, who discovers patriarchy and seeks to implement it in Barbieland.
One particularly pleasing aspect about of the film is how it was able to showcase that women in the real world are still being reduced to their beauty and body; while in Barbieland, they are seen as people, who are celebrated for their intellects
Matriarchy and patriarchy are both put to the test in the film. However, although the film tries to send across a message of women empowerment, it makes it seem as though a world run by women would disregard the role that men play in society. This is in contrast with what feminism stands for, and that is equality for all genders.
In its first weekend of release, the movie made $162 million in North America, while cinemas in Sandton, Montecasino and Clearwater Mall in Roodeproot were filled with eager fans.
Whether you love or hate the seemingly perfect doll, are male or female – we all have something to learn from her. Be it doing some self-introspection or unlearning patriarchal mindsets.
The Barbie movie premiered in cinemas on Friday, July 21, 2023.
Vuvu rating: 8 out of 10
FEATURED IMAGE: Barbie movie poster starring Margot Robbie who plays ‘Barbie’. Photo: www.barbie-themovie.com
- Wits Vuvuzela, SLICE OF LIFE: Open Letter to my future daughter, August 2017.
- Wits Vuvuzela, ‘Women shouldn’t have to do all the work when it comes to tackling patriarchy’, August 2017.
- Wits Vuvuzela, SLICE OF LIFE: My body, My rules, March 2015.