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Was The Barbie Movie Worth The Hype?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

By: Symone Conway

Barbie is not just a stereotypical doll. Barbie’s purpose is to represent the inspiration of the limitless potential in every girl. The doll’s famous phrase, “You can be anything” is very important to the takeaway from the movie. Director of Barbie, Greta Gerwig, did a great job capturing the essence of womanhood throughout the hour and fifty four minutes of her film. 

The movie begins with Barbie’s regular routine of being the perfect girl, surrounded by all of her Barbie friends in her dreamhouse. But as each day goes by, Barbie’s demeanor changes. One night while partying with the other barbies, she questions death. Atypical to her normal behavior, this sends the barbies into a spiral, and they spend the movie trying to discover the reasoning behind Barbie’s depressive behavior. They find out that Barbie’s owner in the real world had been feeling down and ultimately impacting her doll. While Barbie is in the real world to find her owner to change her mood, Ken learns about the patriarchy (a concept that is nonexistent in Barbieland) and takes these views back to their home. While battling the mental health of her owner and her owner’s daughter, Barbie must now also regain control of Barbieland from the Ken dolls control. After her home is restored to its natural balance, Barbie has a very emotional encounter with the creator of Barbie, Ruth Handler. Barbie reaches an epiphany that Barbieland is no longer for her; she wants to be more than something someone paid for, more than her role as stereotypical Barbie. She returns to the real world with her owner, and the movie ends with her heading into her first gynecology appointment. 

Typing the summary of the movie, I cried. There is such deep emotion in the scene with Barbie and her creator. Many criticisms of the movie have to do with the fact that there is a large male presence in the film for quite some time. The movie is more than the patriarchy ideals it displayed. While that portion does represent the reality all women face, that even in the most female dominated spaces, men can sometimes find a way to shift the focus; to me, that was not the most important message of the movie. As the montage of women and their daughters played at the end of the movie, with Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For? playing in the background, it is clear as day that the message is about a sense of belonging within the female community. The hugs and joy embraced between girls and their mothers conveys a feeling like no other 

The movie is absolutely a film I’d see again. It captures friendship so beautifully, and accurately embodies the strength of women when Barbie and other other barbie dolls stand together to regain control of Barbieland. One of the most memorable lines is, “We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back and see how far they’ve come”. That line hits a nerve as I realize how many sacrifices our mothers make for us. Barbie follows her own quote of “You can be anything” when she steps out of her box to live life as a normal woman. The movie was worth the hype because it is such a feel-good movie and is deeper than what we’d expect. 

As women, we have so much depth to who we are. We are our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, mentors, bigs, friends, and more. We represent the long line of women that came before us, and the women that we may produce in the future. Being a “girls girl”, having genuine friendships, and most importantly, a good relationship with our mothers and maternal figures is not something we should take for granted. It’s a beautiful thing to be a woman. 

Symone Conway

Hampton U '27

Hi! I’m Symone, a psychology major at Hampton University from Chicago, IL. I'm interested in psych because I love understanding people and being there for them. I’m the oldest sister of three, which has influenced my love for supporting others mentally and emotionally. I also love any and everything girly. I think of myself to be a girls girl and believe in uplifting my feminine queens <3. I enjoy astrology a lot (I’m a pisces). I love talking and bonding with others. I’m excited as a writer for HerCampus and hope my articles are enjoyed by all those that read them. Writing is a super impactful outlet for me, and I am inspired by those around me to continue entertaining the world through my articles!