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The Barbie Movie: A Road to Self Discovery


 On July 21, 2023, the Barbie movie premiered in theatres worldwide, causing the whole world to turn pink… 

On the surface, The Barbie Movie has all a girl could dream of: vibrant visuals and glittery outfits, bedazzled jewelry, and pretty pink houses. Not only were the visuals captivating, but the soundtrack had many bobbing their heads. The plastic dolls appear close to perfect as they show how little girls can be any desired role from mermaid to president, putting their slogan “You can be anything” into the works.

The movie does a wonderful job of portraying diverse women in various occupations. In the movie, we see Barbies like Mermaid Barbie, Doctor Barbie, President Barbie, Scientist Barbie, and, my favorite, Author Barbie, and it’s a beautiful representation of women and girls around the world.

As a 17-year-old woman, it felt refreshing to see different types of dolls have a big part of the story. For little girls, seeing a character on-screen that has similar features to them or the job they aspire to have in the future can be inspiring and reassuring 

As you watch the movie you begin to see a deeper meaning as everything seems to bleed at the seams. The Barbie Movie takes on the reality of what it means to be a woman. Throughout the movie, you see that stereotypical Barbie is no longer feeling… stereotypical. She begins to have bad breath, starts to think about death, and goes through many minor inconveniences, something that never happens to Barbie.

As she goes through her journey, she begins to see what it’s like to be a woman. For example, she no longer feels like wearing heels as her feet become more human-like.

Barbie also starts to feel self-conscious once she enters the “real world” and experiences catcalling and stares from men. She explains how she feels aware of her surroundings, but most of all feels overwhelmingly aware of herself. 

Many women go through this every day and it is something we are forced to ignore. These scenes are strong depictions of what it feels like to be a woman on a day-to-day scale, and at Castaic, students feel the same way.

“Many girls today may feel inferior in society, and I think the Barbie movie was a great display of this fact,” said senior Isabel Vasquez. 

“I think the movie was really good. It showed a nice take on feminism, something that a lot of movies don’t do very well,” said senior Jayden Horvath

The movie also sprinkles in an emotional take on mother-daughter relationships. Throughout the movie, we see a mother-daughter duo who spark the conflict of the movie.

Although the mom seems to want to reignite her dying relationship with her teenage daughter Sasha, her daughter denies her mom’s attempt to connect with her through Barbie,  since she feels that Barbie represents unrealistic societal expectations for women. 

Not only do we have a visible example of a struggling mother-daughter relationship but we also get a spectacular quote from Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie.

“We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back to see how far they have come.” 

This quote pierced the hearts of many viewers, especially mothers and daughters. 

As a daughter myself, I had an epiphany. Hearing that quote reminded me that my mom was once a little girl just like me, playing with her dolls just like me, and had dreams just like I do. The movie made me and others realize how we tend to overlook our mothers. Once they have us they stop all plans and might give up goals just to raise us and to later watch us find and achieve our goals.

“The Mother-daughter parts really made me emotional cause it really made me remember my mom and the difficult times I had with her,” says junior, Jessica Molina.

Although we mainly embark on Barbie’s journey to their discovery of themselves and how the real world is, we also touch on Ken’s attempt at self-discovery.

As stereotypical Barbie and Ken explore the real world, Ken becomes enlightened with the idea that men seem to “rule the world” away from Barbie Land. He then proceeds to forget about Barbie and goes back to Barbie’s land and corrupts the minds of many along with the Kens with the idea of the patriarchy. This part of the movie highlights the toxic masculinity present in the world today. Some men are taught at young ages through family or friendly influence that they are the superior gender. They may be taught to act tough, that men don’t ever cry, and that they shall be the primary source for their family but that is just simply not the case.

“I was shocked to see how Ken twisted Barbie’s world into a man’s world…it shows how Ken learned that men are superior like a hierarchy. Men on top, women on the bottom.” Molina adds.

In the climax of the movie, stereotypical Barbie takes a moment to enlighten Ken that he is not just all about Barbie and that he should too embark on his journey of self-discovery.

 After all, He is more than just “beach”.

All in all, this movie is a 10/10 and an extremely recommended watch on my part.

 This movie isn’t a children’s movie, despite popular expectation, but it shows a creative take on the harsh reality of being a woman, brings a heartfelt message about mother-daughter relationships, and offers an exciting take on aggressive masculinity that ties with the message of self-discovery as the Barbies and Kens are forced to reconstruct and find themselves. 

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About the Contributor
Debbie Torres-Chavarria
Debbie Torres-Chavarria, Staff Writer
Debbie Torres-Chavarria is a staff writer for the student newspaper at Castaic High School. She strives to embark on new things relating to creative writing. She loves to travel and try new things including music, books, food, and more. Her favorite subject is literature, so she hopes to expand as a writer while writing about the things she is the most passionate about. She also hopes to become better at embarking on creative ideas. Outside of journalism, she enjoys writing review pieces on things like fitness, makeup, music, and more. 
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