A series of editorials exploring what progress looks like across different communities.

Words: Olivia

Barbie has always been iconic. It was only a matter of time before we were going to get a live-action film with some of the most talented (and attractive) actors of our generation.

Barbie, the film, has definitely lived up to its hype. Most of that can be linked to the perfect combination of some amazing marketing professionals (whoever thought of that pink billboard deserves a raise), the internet’s favourite director Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie’s “Stereotypical Barbie” and the initially controversial casting – and later, performance – of Ryan Gosling as Ken (who very much Steven Bradbury’d his way into all our hearts).
Without too many spoilers, initially the Barbies believe they’ve solved gender inequality, which, as someone writing this review for free on an online menswear store journal, is equal parts amusing and sobering. I think the movie does a good job at posing significant questions for gender dynamics within a patriarchal society, if a little heavy handed. It also does a good job at trying to critique its own source material. Whether it succeeds is another question, but it definitely has young people talking and that was probably the point.
At times, the narrative definitely feels stretched but that’s expected when the themes try to tackle so much. And while Mattel’s not above criticism for the part Barbie contributed to wider societal impacts like body shaming, the film reminds us that we ourselves placed these cultural and societal significances on the doll in the first place.
Again, not wanting to spoil too much (but if you haven’t seen it by now, I honestly don’t know what to make of you) the movie is worth watching for the “flat feet” screams and America Ferrera’s monologue alone. Plus Margot Robbie absolutely kills it with her performance as the iconic doll herself. It’s fun, it’s pink, it’s Barbie.