Over a week ago now, I did something uncharacteristic. I caved and went to see the polarizing Greta Gerwig feature Barbie. If you follow here for a while now, you know we don’t tend to cover the popular films “in the moment,” but rather talk about them after the hubbub dies down. Despite my “rule” not to read reviews on popular movies (when I plan to see them) and try to remain “blank” about other’s opinions, my social media was constantly teeming with Barbie things. Good, bad and ugly. So, I decided it was time to head out on a cloudy Saturday to see the film. This leaves me wanting to talk about why Barbie isn’t bad (or good).

We did review this one already because we wanted a quick turnaround. Still despite this, I also “needed” some time to sit with my thoughts, more than what that turnaround allows. The next best thing was writing an opinion piece because I do have more thoughts.

Just know as we continue from here, there will be spoilers.


OPINION: ‘BARBIE’ ISN’T AS BAD (OR AS GOOD) AS SOCIAL MEDIA TELLS US. Chatting about #Barbie and why it isn't "bad" (or "good") like social media tells us. #Movies #Discussion #Opinion #MargotRobbie #RyanGosling #PopCulture Click To Tweet

Everyone by now knows there is a Barbie film in theaters. It’s a live action film primarily about the “stereotypical Barbie,” or the Barbie everyone “thinks of” when they think of the popular doll. Margot Robbie steps into the perfectly pink shoes of the heroine. Only trouble is, Barbie starts to have darker thoughts like wondering about death, which means she has to fix the connection between her and the owner of her doll. Thus, our story begins taking Barbie from the world the narrator tells us she believes is perfect.

This film has been seen by all kinds of people who hold all kinds of beliefs. Some saw it and thought it was fun. Others were affected by pure nostalgia, while others still had opinions. Some think the film is awful and no one should see it. Then there’s the voices that gush over the film, saying they believe it is pro- x, y or z, and even has themes that are “conservative.” The film even inspires reactions likening the way humans only find true purpose once they have a relationship with their Creator, much like Barbie only finds her purpose when she meets her creator.

Here’s the thing. What you’ll find is somewhere in the middle of the gushing and loathing.

The film isn’t perfect, like any other film. It has flaws. But it also does things right and is actually good in what it does right. Is it a “Christian” or “conservative” film? No. That said, it does use the creator metaphor, and it’s not a stretch to pull this analogy from the scene. However, commentary that says the film concludes on more gender equal footing is really stretching. While some may say this is good because men have “dominated” for years, just because one gender does something doesn’t mean that the quest for “better” then means the other gender picks up that mantle. The film continues in its unseen future to believe men should have no or very limited power, though you can argue Barbie does see the harm because of her choice to change her circumstances so drastically.

Here’s what I think. Barbie is fun. It was a good time and much to my surprise, I did enjoy the pinnacle moments I assumed would be meh. I’m also coming from a non-nostalgic perspective since Barbie wasn’t part of my childhood, something I don’t think some of the social commentators were able to separate from. Greta Gerwig doesn’t always do things to stories that I like, but she does produce good films and though the story may not be revolutionary, it suits this film. I think she also understands Story and characters, and how to pull the most from the story she’s telling. Sometimes less story is appropriate depending on the character.

Art is subjective and we’re all going to see something different. That said, I think either extreme on the opinion scale, unless you’re someone who is simply wanting fun, is dishonest. I think there should be more of a balance in that it’s okay to say there’s some flaws, while also not telling anyone who sees it they’re wrong or that if you see x theme in the film, you’re terrible. See it if you want to. Don’t see it if you don’t. When it comes down to it, that’s the choice.

What did you think of the Barbie movie? Did you or will you see it? What themes did you pull from it? Or are you a strictly went-to-be-entertained kind of moviegoer? What did you like or loathe about the film? Let’s meet in the comments.


OPINION: ‘BARBIE’ ISN’T AS BAD (OR AS GOOD) AS SOCIAL MEDIA TELLS US. Talking about the pros and cons of Greta Gerwig's Barbie. © Rissi JC

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About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I’m concerned about the anti-man, anti-mother subtle and not-subtle messages for my teen and preteen daughters, so I plan to see it when it streams before watching it with them. We all played with Barbies as kids, so I’m planning to watch it for the nostalgia and comedy.

    1. That’s all totally fair, and understandable. My mom was very much the same way with us growing up. I have heard some say it’s very anti mother and others say it’s pro mother. I don’t think I thought of it either way, but one of the “anti” comment complaint is unfair, and then I will say with the main mother theme/character, there doesn’t seem to be regret, which I do appreciate. I’m going to be curious to see it again too because I feel like we do miss things with just one watch, especially something that inspires so many thoughts. Anyone who has those nostalgic feels will, I think, enjoy this because there is a LOT of that. :) Let me know what you think when you see this one, Heidi.

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