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Thoughts And Prayers To All Of The Fragile People Who Are Offended Or Unenthused By The Barbie Movie

Ahh, look. Another day, another reason for men people to be intimidated by successful, powerful female voices. Aren't we getting bored of this? 

I saw the Barbie movie at 1 in the morning on Thursday. It was the only time I could get tickets, as it's sold out and booked up near me at reasonable times until the foreseeable future. (I haven't seen Oppenheimer yet, but I plan to, and I'm excited for it. For the record.)

I always planned to write a blog about Barbie this week, but I'd be lying if I said I anticipated it being defensive. Never in a million years did I think that I'd see such strange, sensitive, insecure feelings about the movie popping up on my various timelines. I knew the movie would be over the top, fun, mostly unserious but with a possibly heartfelt message and lots of Girl Power to boot. I figured Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu and Michael Cera would bring the "boys" on board, no matter how silly they acted. I, foolishly, assumed more of society than I should have.

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My first sign should've been the text from my own MOTHER, who said she "heard the movie sucked" and "didn't have a lot of interest." Surely, the woman who plays the Hallmark Channel on repeat all day long was simply misinformed about what we were watching. Undeniably, my right wing father heard Piers Morgan or Ben Shapiro going off about how it's "woke" and a "flaming garbage heap" and infected the household I once called my home, before anyone had even seen the movie for themselves. Sad. 

After tweeting my praises, which are nearly never ending, I got a text from John Feitelberg who...another huge blow, didn't like the movie. I understand not LOVING it in the same way as I did, growing up playing with Barbies and also growing up a woman, but I really thought we'd have John on board here. Over the top vintage Barbie fashion! Ryan Gosling heading up a FIRE musical number! Mothers and daughters finding even ground with each other! He has sisters AND a mother! His argument was that it was "something we've seen a million times before, we get it, life is hard for women." Yikes. Our new GM of Comedy Kevin Clancy had the same thoughts, but his overall reaction I respect even less if we're being honest. It's one thing to not like it, it's another to give it a ZERO:

This man has a daughter! Sad, sad, sad. 

And then of course, we have my very favorite employee Kirk Minihane coming out of the woodwork to pile onto a conversation that's clearly turned into a "men vs women" online discourse. I missed the invite to the show in real time, so now i'll have to deal with this until I can pop on to say my piece:

Imagine not understanding the difference between shitting on noted scumbag Tom Cruise, and standing up for a movie that's clearly speaking to a lot of women in a positive way. More sadness. 

If you didn't understand the Barbie movie, I'm sorry. I truly feel bad for you. I'm absolutely blown away by the fact so many people are having a hard time with the dialogue (they are dolls, their words are spoken in the tone of how children play with Barbies) and those who couldn't embrace the purposeful cheesiness and see through it to feel inspired and validated. I don't know how you could watch America Ferrera's speech and not shed multiple tears:

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I thought it was smart, funny, and eye opening. I also think anyone who doesn't see that the overarching meaning of the film - toxic masculinity and unrealistic standards for women AND men, is bad for EVERYONE, has been lost:

I'm a big fan of almost anything Greta Gerwig does, and this movie is no exception. I think there are a lot of people, primarily men in this case, who think the depiction of the "real world" was too over the top when it comes to what women deal with on a daily basis. You know what's even crazier? I don't feel that it was over the top at all. There's a joke in the film where Ken goes up to one of the men in the "real world" and asks him about the Patriarchy, a concept he was unfamiliar with coming from Barbie Land. The man in the film tells him the Patriarchy is not gone, they've just gotten "better at hiding it." Directly calling out the fact that we notice every guy who "pretends" to support women is clearly something that guys just don't want to hear. Sorry!

Again, it's totally fine not to like this movie. It's fine to say it's "not for you," although I don't personally think that's the right way to look at it. I guess it isn't for everyone. But to go out of your way to say it sucked, to say it was unrealistic, to say it is "anti-man," is just incorrect. Sure, it isn't "pro-man," but is it so impossible to have a movie that exists that doesn't put men on a pedestal the entire time? Are people angry about how the majority of the movie is centered around women's empowerment and independence, delivered in a kitchy, camp-y way, and the Kens are just an afterthought? Were there not enough explosions to keep them interested? 

I highly encourage everyone to see this movie with an open mind. Think of it through a lens that may be different than your usual day to day, and expand your worldview. It's really not that hard. 

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