Education & Family

Welcome to Barbieland: A ‘Barbie’ Movie Review

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film, starring Margot Robbie, was probably the most inspirational blockbuster for me since Wonder Woman. There, I mentioned it. 

Yes, I’m a follower of Jesus. Yes, I consider in the fantastic thing about marriage and the importance of motherhood. No, I don’t agree with each single facet of the movie. 

Borrowing an idea from Andy Crouch in his e-book Culture Making, as a Christian, it’s straightforward to arrogantly condemn tradition, rapidly copy tradition, or mindlessly eat tradition. But my hope right here is to carry a dialogue across the points the movie makes an attempt to deal with. If you need to see Barbie however are met with the thought that you just may be “betraying your Christian faith,” I hope in sharing my perspective you could find freedom to try the film for your self and draw your personal conclusions.  

I’m a stay-at-home mother and full-time missionary with FamilyLife. My husband, Moses, and I dwell in Brooklyn, New York, the place we homeschool our 5 youngsters ranging in ages from 4 to 11, run a community-center outreach, and lead the Awana kids’s ministry at our native church. Several occasions a yr, my husband and I journey across the nation as audio system with FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway. 

From the skin, I could appear like I match the stereotype of a few of Barbie’s largest critics, however possibly that’s why the film impacted me a lot. 

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Welcome to Barbieland

Barbie opens with an ingenious parody of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey Several school-aged girls are stranded in a barren, primordial panorama. Helen Mirren elegantly narrates the scene, explaining that for the reason that starting of time, little girls solely had baby dolls to play with. As a consequence, they’d no selection however to think about themselves as moms and nothing else. 

Then alongside comes the invention of Barbie, who, in her many variations, expands the little girls’ horizons, inspiring them to be astronauts, docs, judges, and even president. In melodramatic trend, the girls smash their baby dolls to items, heralding a brand new period of equality and alternative. 

Enter Barbieland, the place, a minimum of within the perspective of the Barbies, all of women’s issues are actually solved. 

The whole movie follows two worlds that intersect and have an effect on one another (comparable to Pixar’s Inside Out). Following Helen Mirren’s dramatic intro, the viewers is instantly immersed within the all-pink universe of Barbieland (the creation of which precipitated a shortage of pink paint). In the utopian world, every single day is a “perfect day,” and women are within the highest types of authorities and affect. While the “real world” is run by males, and women are an objectified afterthought. 

The remainder of the movie follows Stereotypical Barbie’s journey touring between the 2 worlds. 

The set design was completely executed—full with a Barbie Dreamhouse and large waterslide. I liked the costumes paying homage to iterations of iconic Barbie varieties. However, the spotlight of the film for me was a monologue by Gloria (America Ferrera), a Mattel worker and mother of a preteen daughter (and in the event you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen it). When I attended opening weekend, you could possibly have heard a pin drop throughout that scene. 

The major theme of Ferrera’s monologue was that as trendy women, we’ve got expectations hurled at us that aren’t solely unrealistic however concurrently contradictory. She says, “It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.”

In different phrases, no matter our marital or socioeconomic standing, we dwell in numerous variations of a Catch-22. 

Follow your dream … however don’t neglect the dishes

As a first-generation immigrant whose household hails from the Philippines, I’m instructed to observe my profession and reap the benefits of all of the alternatives right here in America, but in addition … “Don’t forget to do all the housework.”

I’ve usually felt the stress between my selection to discover goal in spending the majority of my time at residence whereas my youngsters are younger, and what others assume I ought to accomplish—as if I’m silently torturing myself by not relentlessly climbing the company ladder. I’ve personally skilled the discouraging results of numerous expectations hovering over me, which constantly make me really feel like a failure on some stage. 

So whereas some might even see Barbie as only a film a couple of doll and seemingly pointless, God used this film to remind me of how usually I’m responsible of letting others dictate who I needs to be, as an alternative of who I used to be created to be. 

I’ve learned the hard way that it’s tough to concurrently do all these items properly at any given time. The solely factor I can do is be delicate sufficient to the Holy Spirit to discern what I’m known as to do second by second and be okay with completely different seasons of life, ministry, and profession. 

In the midst of my confusion, that is what I’m certain of:

1. God’s name for me to make plain biblical truths to others by means of my completely different communication items (writing, talking, mentoring, and so on.). 

2. God’s name for me to be a loving spouse to Moses and a be-all-there mother to my youngsters.

Everything else is just about optionally available.  

Adapted from “A Barbie Movie Review,” originally published on Marilette Used with permission. Copyright © 2023 by Marilette Sanchez. All rights reserved.

Marilette Sanchez is a New Yorker obsessed with discovering the connections between God, relationships, and popular culture. She is spouse to Moses, a homeschooling mother to 5 younger kids, and a full-time missionary with FamilyLife. She believes there may be extra to the Christian life than hypocrisy and extra to popular culture than shallow artwork. College sweethearts and NYC natives, she and her husband, Moses, are FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® audio system identified for his or her transparency and their capacity to inject their love of hip hop and popular culture into their discussions of affection, intercourse and marriage. She has just lately co-founded an online apparel company to elevate consciousness for psychological health points within the church and communities of shade. Follow her parenting and homeschooling journey on Instagram at @bigcitybigfamily and her musings on womanhood and popular culture at

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