I was already going to do a post on Barbie. A very brief one. It was simply going to say this, “I don’t care. I haven’t seen it.” The only conversation I wanted to have about Barbie had nothing to do with the movie and more to do with the irony around it…how the villain of the past 30 years is now the hero.
But now I have seen it. So, let’s talk about it. I am absolutely positive there will be more exhaustive reviews and you should read those. But in case you don’t, this one will suffice.
I’m all about enthusiasm. But I’ve been in a cave enough with work that I didn’t realize this was becoming a thing…Because I’m the least fun person on the planet. There were gaggles of women in pink, huge photo backdrops, special menus, etc., for Barbie.
The pros: I thought it was funny to see the toy world and real world collide, with the cars that don’t drive, the feet always on tiptoes, and empty drinks. It reminded me of Enchanted or Lego Movie when they pointed out the silliness of trying to make the “fake or fairytale world,” real. That’s funny. I don’t care who you are.
At one point, I could see the potential for teachable moments as Barbie wakes up to the limits of reality…again, very much like Enchanted. But they didn’t quite materialize.
You can get the play-by-play somewhere else, but here’s my bottom line. I wouldn’t have gone to see it if I hadn’t been asked to and I wouldn’t go see it again if I were paid to.
It’s sad when the things that should be fun and for kids are used as the vehicles for propaganda. This isn’t a movie for kids. Not because the language is that bad. But because the ideas are.
I thought it was whiny, sexist, and hypocritical.
Every other day of the week, Hollywood blithely pretends we can’t even define “woman,” and couldn’t possibly identify one. But today, “Hear me roar??”
“Men are taking over everything and it must be stopped!” Except in sports. Or beauty pageants. Or labor and delivery. Hypocrites.
Apart from the fact that it’s Barbie and you could dress up to see it…take away the nostalgia and experiential part of it… I can’t believe anyone who took their kids would really want them to embrace the ideals and worldviews it espoused. It’s a recipe for isolation and dissatisfaction if they do. I get going with your daughters for the Barbie-ness of it all. But as someone who watched it with their son, and husband…man was done a disservice. And it was cheered on by women.
That’s not neutral. There’s no Christ in that.
Friends, being pro-woman at the expense of men isn’t good or Godly. Period.
It’s like utilizing racism to address racism and then calling others “racist” when they object to your racism. This is that, with misogyny and sexism. I should have brought a Bingo card. I would have won a prize if I had “Patriarchy” in any or all squares. Oh my word. Say it one more time. It wasn’t even subtle.
Y’all– be critical thinkers. Yes, it came with all the harmless “beaching off” and plastic pina coladas. But it was a classic straw man argument. We will give you a false picture of patriarchy so we can all agree it’s bad?? They weren’t even trying that hard to conceal it. And the “agreement” was bought and paid for. Spend a billion dollars on a marketing campaign and any movie will do well at the box office, whether it was good or not. They have bought the perception of agreement and solidarity, in my humble opinion.
Say whatever you want to about the movie, but don’t say it’s not harmful.
If for no other reason than this one line, “Patriarchy is something humans made up…” Is that true or false? False. Does that contradict Scripture? Yes. I should need to make no other case. And you should need no other case be made.
“We are going to expose stereotypes assigned women and be free of them!!” While absolutely stereotyping and maligning sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. Brilliant.
“Let us fix the confusion we created then!” While creating infinitely more damaging confusion in the realm of genders, sexuality, and norms now. But yeah, yeah…”Trust us anyway!”
“Let me list all the ways I have felt put upon unfairly as a woman to meet the expectations of society!” While pretending that man has never had the same treatment.
Never been told to sit down, shut up, don’t cry, do cry, be effeminate, be more masculine. You’re not a man if you don’t wear flannel. You’re not a man if you don’t wear a dress. Hold the door, don’t hold the door, you care too little, you care too much…are you kidding? As long as culture is dictating our treatment of others, neither gender will be treated fairly. It is hardly one-sided.
Worldly identity politics can’t decide which position is more beneficial, victim or victor. So it tries to be both. And succeeds as long as we are the sheep they hope we are. They have made a worldview movie and tried to conceal it in “fun,” so that when you recognize it and attempt to address the worldviews espoused, they can say, “Lighten up!” People will point out the inconsistencies and hypocrisy, only to be met with “No, no it was about little girls and hopes and dreams…”
But when you listen to the interviews with the people who made it, it wasn’t fluff and fun in their mind. It was a social statement they were making. It had a message. Why would we pretend it is something that even they do not pretend it is?
We are always the problem, and they are always having to fix us. Dumb dolls that we are.
The worst part of Barbie was not what it was. It was what it wasn’t–what a missed opportunity. There were funny parts. It could have been hysterical. It could have made room for great intergenerational conversations. Barbie actually is one of the things I have in common with my mother in her 70’s and my daughter in her teens. It could have been a bridge builder that gave a place of mental sanctuary and unadulterated fun. But the agenda won. And Barbie got used all over again.
Here’s the thing. Barbie doesn’t represent me, my life, or my experiences any more than Dylan Mulvaney does. Because…wait for it…my primary identity is in Christ. I do not need to lord over men or be liberated by women.
We have a Savior. It is not Barbie.