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Barbara Kay: Negative Portrayal of Men and Motherhood in ‘Barbie’ Movie Can Impact Young Girls Negatively



I reluctantly gave in to watching the “Barbie” movie after hearing so many positive reviews from even my intelligent peers. Ben Shapiro’s scathing review of the film piqued my curiosity even more. According to Ben, the movie was heavily ideological and marketed to young girls, but actually promoted angry feminism and undermined basic human values. Skeptical but intrigued, I decided to see the film for myself.

And Ben was right. The fictional world of Barbieland is a matriarchy, where Barbie and her fellow Barbies rule. The Kens, their male counterparts, are portrayed as accessories and are depicted as dumb. The film portrays a society where men are considered insignificant without women, while women can thrive without men. As the plot unfolds, it becomes evident that the movie is driven by feminist ideas that may have been groundbreaking in the past but are outdated today.

While most viewers may overlook the incoherent plot and underlying ideology, I found the opening scene to be jarring and horrifying. It parodies the iconic opening scene from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but instead of apes discovering their potential for violence, little girls playing with baby dolls start smashing their heads against rocks. This scene signifies a new era where girls role-model after Barbie’s physical beauty and activities rather than motherhood, diminishing the significance of nurturing and simplicity.

The film ends with Barbie leaving Barbieland to embrace womanhood and face the complexities that come with it. The final scene shows her at a gynecologist appointment, leaving viewers to wonder about her reproductive choices. However, the film wisely avoids exploring this topic, as it might cause anxiety among some audience members.

Overall, “Barbie” may entertain most viewers, especially young children who may not grasp the underlying messages. However, for those who are critical of the film’s portrayal of gender roles and ideologies, it may be difficult to enjoy it without reservations.



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