SPOILER ALERT! In this article, I want to give a brief overview of the movie. In the next article, I want to dig down into the all-important monologue by America Ferrera. That, I think, was the most important part of the movie. In fact, I believe that the monologue did something quite remarkable. It gave so many frustrated women, “voice”. It gave them the elusive words that they are struggling to articulate. It gave them the right questions that just might move the dialogue forward.
Whether it provided answers or not is another topic altogether which I will address in subsequent articles.
Margot Robbie brilliantly plays Stereotypical Barbie and lives with all of the other Barbies in Barbieland. In Barbieland the women are in charge, self-confident, independent, successful and in the term that I use from Attachment Theory, they feel enoughness all the time, with each other—and they just don’t need Kens. They hold all of the so-called ‘important’ jobs such as doctors, lawyers, President, and Supreme court judges.
That sharply contrasts with the male Ken dolls who do not feel similar enoughness or connectedness. Ken (Ryan Gosling) says that he is only happy when he is with Barbie. He is always “Barbie and Ken”, never just Ken. But Barbie rebuffs Kens humorous advances to be more intimate. In Barbieland, Barbies don’t need Kens. Kens need and don’t have Barbies. Not exactly a perfect place. I will dedicate an entire later article to the movie’s implicit message to Kens in Barbieland and the real world.
But then, Barbie wakes up in an existential crisis, she has thoughts of dying, her feet go flat, and she even starts having cellulite. Very funny. Weird Barbie tells her she needs to go to the real world and find her owner-child. Ken stows away.
In the real world, [check that—in Venice Beach—no one here considers that the real world—great choice] Barbie finds out that her issues were catalyzed by Gloria (America Ferrera, a frustrated, underappreciated mother and Mattel employee). She has started playing with her daughter’s Barbie to try to recapture some of the hope she had when she was just a girl. But, alas, she is in the ‘real world.’
In the meantime, Ken becomes enthralled by the roll of men in the real world. He says that for the first time in his life, he feels respected, and someone even responded to him. He brings that new philosophy back to Barbieland and quickly the men take over and indoctrinate the Barbies into submissive roles. This is, I think, the film’s tongue-in-cheek commentary on the real world. Now in Barbieland, men are in charge and the women are brainwashed to be happy as a submissive secondary class.
Is this the way it is? You women tell me what you think. Bill@Gospel-app.com. Let’s keep going.
This is when Gloria gives her inspirational speech about the real world’s conflicting expectations of women. In the end, her speech powerfully, or magically makes the brainwashed Barbies wake up from their Ken-induced stupor and they regain their rightful control of Barbie Land. Happily, ever after? Hmmm?
Of that monologue which took 30 takes, Director Gerwig said
“I was just sobbing, and then I looked around, and I realized everybody’s crying on the set. The men are crying too, because they have their own speech, they feel they can’t ever give, you know? And they have their twin tightrope, which is also painful.”
What does Ferrera say about the monologue? “There’s no woman in my life who those words aren’t true for. Not a single one. And when we hear the truth, it hits in a certain way, and you can’t unhear it, right?”
In the next article I will dig into America Ferrera’s important monologue and layer the gospel on top of it. Check it out.
In the meantime, look for my shows at LifeStreamTV, including shows on the Lifestream Network, most of the Women’s Channels, Men’s, Church, and Drug Free channels. If you benefit from these shows, give me a shout out. Thanks ahead of time. I think you will find valuable resources on my website (www.gospel-app.com). Also, follow me on Facebook (/bill.senyard) and Instagram (/gospelapp). Take heart, child of God.