Okay, let's chat about this fabulous recent op-ed by Kineret Dubowitz on the Barbie movie. I'm talking about the one where the author rightfully fan-girls (or fan-boys, or fan-thems – because, inclusivity) over Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling's on-screen magic. We're in a golden age of reboots, but who knew our childhood plastic pal would make such a profound leap from toy chest to thespian triumph?
I have to say, the way the author correlates Barbie's journey of self-discovery with the parallel worlds of traditional and modern womanhood is chef's kiss. After all, aren't many of us trapped in our own "Barbielands", trying to reconcile the roles society lays out for us with the roles we feel inside? Be it the assertive careerist vs. the nurturing caregiver, or the fierce feminist vs. the traditionalist, Barbie's silver screen venture seems like a manifestation of these struggles. A picture-perfect metaphor, if you will.
The shedding of Barbie's plasticity resonates deeply, especially in our age of Instagram filters and the quest for digital perfection. As the author astutely points out, Barbie's transformation from stilettos to the ultra-comfy Birkenstocks is a testament to embracing our genuine selves. If Barbie, the epitome of "unrealistic beauty standards," can don Birkenstocks, then surely, we mere mortals can, and should, learn to shed our metaphorical high heels and tight-laced corsets of societal expectations.
However, while the author rightly praises this awakening of femininity and feminine power, where does this leave our other plastic pals? Especially Ken? In this age of "woke" and the blossoming acknowledgment of non-binary and gender fluid identities, shouldn't Ken, too, embark on a journey beyond the sculpted abs and fixed hair of his plastic mold? Where's his transformation from, say, G.I. Joe machismo to sensitive, New Age man embracing both Yin and Yang?
One could argue that the traditional versus modern womanhood narrative beautifully adheres to the Kabbalistic ideas of male and female energies, but where's the non-binary representation? The acknowledgment that these energies can coexist within a single entity? In an age of LGBTQ+ representation and progressive gender norms, surely Barbie's world could make room for this narrative. After all, if modern Barbie can conquer the challenges of both "Barbieland and the real world," then the universe she inhabits should reflect the vibrant spectrum of human experience and gender identities.
In the end, the author's envisioning of the "Balanced Natural Barbie" is truly heartwarming. It's the Barbie model many of us didn't know we needed until now. But here's hoping that in the sequel, Barbie's world becomes a little more inclusive, shedding not just the plastic but also age-old binaries.
Until then, cheers to Barbie! May we all find our "mojo dojo casa house" and perhaps, let our Ken dolls find theirs too. 🌟🌈👠👟🎥