Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

  • December 8Follow us on Instagram! @whsvikingtimes
  • December 5Interested in joining the Newspaper Club? See Ms. Irvine or Mr. Donnelly for more information!
Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times


Are you taking any AP Exams?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Why “Barbie” Is More Than Wearing Pink To The Movies


*If you haven’t seen Barbie yet, this article will contain spoilers*




Whether Barbie was part of your childhood or not, you are sure to recognize the famous doll. With the line of successful animated movies and tv shows, her varying careers, and most importantly an ever evolving line of dolls have made Barbie the cultural icon we know her to be today.  So when set photos were leaked in early 2022 of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling roller skating as Barbie and Ken, the live action Barbie movie became one of the most anticipated movies of the year. The film’s release grew closer as the actual plot of the movie was a very tightly kept secret. Everyone was trying to gather any clues they could see to decode what the movie was about.  The movie instantly became a box office hit, making about 162 million dollars on its opening weekend alone.  As the summer went on, so did the movie’s popularity. 

Everywhere you looked this summer, the Barbie movie followed. Part of why this movie was so successful was because of the excellent marketing. The character posters instantly blew up on social media, with a filter that told people what kind of Barbie and Ken they were. The team  took advantage of advertising and did an excellent job making it feel like it was everywhere. According to PR Newswire, Barbie has “earned more than $1.38 billion worldwide”. Part of why the movie succeeded as much as did was because it was a movie made for women by women, conveying what it feels like to be a woman in today’s society. Greta Gerwig was the perfect director for this movie. She is known for movies that center around female empowerment and this one was no different. 

Since the plot of the movie was such a tight secret, I tried to avoid all spoilers until I finally got to see the movie. I knew that the movie was leaked all over social media during the opening week, but I truly wanted to go in blind to the movie. I saw the movie the second week after it’d been released and I loved every second of it. 

It was everything I wanted it to be and yet nothing I had expected. The movie follows “stereotypical Barbie” as she ventures into a world unlike anything she’s ever experienced before, our world. She experiences what it means to be a woman in today’s society and all of the challenges that come with it. She comes to terms with the fact that to some people she is not viewed as the empowering symbol she has always believed to stand for. In fact she learns that to some she is the one responsible for the impossible beauty standards some women hold themselves to.  Her time in our world was short lived but she quickly learned that women are not given the same respect that they are given in Barbieland. In Barbieland, women are the ones in charge of everything. In our world, however, things are different.  If women are given the opportunity to lead, they have to work ten times harder than their male counterparts just to be considered.    

The movie has a deeper meaning than just the dolls of your childhood. If you were looking for a commentary of modern day politics, then look no further than the Barbie movie. So much of the dialogue and plot points had political undertones.  This caused people on the left to applaud and people on the right  to boycott. The movie took a stand against the way certain Republicans want the government to be run and the criticism made them angry. However the anger of the right did not stop the movie from blowing up. 

There were two reasons why people did not like it. Some conservatives thought that it was too liberal and some men believed that it put down men. Whether it did either of these things, is up to each audience member to decide for themselves. Towards the end of the movie, the Barbies come up with a plan to reclaim Barbieland; to reclaim their society and their places within it. Barbieland always had an all female supreme court and a female president, two things that we have yet to achieve in our own government. The Barbies don’t like having someone else in control of their actions and bodies, which is why they reclaim their government. However, as women in today’s society we don’t have the control over our government.  We have people in charge who believe that women are better suited in the kitchen than in the workforce.  When Gloria helps unbrainwash the remaining Barbies, they realize that the way they’ve been acting is so unlike themselves.  There are women working in our government today that are voting against policies that directly hurt women. They are voting against their own best interests and the best interest of all women. These are the government officials that need to be “unbrainwashed” so to speak. 

Barbie and Ken are both experiencing severe culture shocks.  They are seeing how the other one lives and how they are treated. When Ken enters the real world, it is the first time he feels respected. He is instantly viewed as an equal because he is a man  and no one challenges him. However Barbie is instantly objectified. She is treated like an accessory, perhaps the way that Ken has been treated his whole life.  The truth of the matter is that people only buy a “Ken” doll so “Barbie” has someone to play with on her adventures. No one just buys Ken and that’s why he feels so powerful in our world. People value his opinion and he is instantly respected. This is a respect he has never felt before.  This is why he latches on the idea of a patriarchal society. According to Wikipedia, a “patriarchal society” can be defined as “patriarchy is a social system in which positions of dominance and privilege are primarily held by men.” He wants a society where men are given the opportunity to lead and lets the power he is given go to his head. While what Ken did wasn’t ok, he did not have a malicious intent. He just wanted to be equal. 

Maybe the reason these two forms of society truly didn’t work was because one side was always made to feel less than the other. So maybe it’s not about having “Barbie’s Dreamhouse” or “Ken’s Mojo Dojo Casa House”.  Instead there should be a way for both to exist and for both to feel important. The “Barbie ” movie wasn’t successful because of the nostalgia of a plastic doll. It was successful because it presented the issues we face as a society today, through a medium we are all familiar with, childhood.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Elaina Freeman, Writer
Hi everyone! I’m Elaina Freeman and I’m a sophomore at Winthrop High School.  This is my second year on the staff and I can't wait to continue to share my stories with all of you. This club has given me the confidence to share my opinions and I am proud to be a member of the staff!  I am also a proud member of The Winthrop High School Drama Society. Outside of writing, I enjoy playing my guitar and spending time with my friends and family. I’m so happy to be on the staff this year and can’t wait to see what we all do next!

Comments (1)

All The Viking Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    Chris Summa c/o Winthrop High SchoolOct 11, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Awesome article and I enjoyed every second of read! In my younger years, I also had a Barbie. I remember taking care of her as if she was real. LOL
    I haven’t seen the movie but after reading your article, that has changed for me. I would like to get a few of my friends together and have a fun girls’ night out and see the movie! I love your explanation of respect, equality, and importance (needed) in our society today. Well done Elaina!!!