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NWW Weekly Connection

August 6, 2023
Barbie Movie: Two of Our Favorite Quotes

Whether you had a Barbie doll at some point in your life (or your children have), disliked Barbie dolls--or are indifferent--the cultural phenomenon that is the Barbie movie, contains important messages for women’s self-empowerment and society as a whole.

Directed by Greta Gerwig, who wrote the screenplay with Noah Baumbach, Barbie is breaking records as it races toward $1 billion in box office earnings.

We celebrate the phenomenal success of the film because it was directed by a woman (yay!) and large audiences are being shown the effects of patriarchy on society as a whole. The more we know, the better world we can create together.

Letting go of old systems that don't serve everyone with love and respect, and replacing them with a fresh new loving, kind and respectful energy, is how we create a new world.

Though there are many thought-provoking ideas expressed in Barbie, here are two quotes we thought you might find relevant:

From the character Gloria, played by America Ferrera:

“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful and so smart, and it kills me that you don't think you're good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong.”

“You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can't ask for money because that's crass.

You have to be a boss, but you can't be mean. You have to lead, but you can't squash other people's ideas. You're supposed to love being a mother but shouldn't talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people.

You have to answer for men's bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you're accused of complaining. You're supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you're supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful.

You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line.”

“I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don't even know.”

And from Rhea Perlman who plays Ruth Handler, the creator of the Barbie doll:

“We mothers stand still so that our daughters can look back and see how far they've come.”

(Image above is a screenshot of "Weird Barbie," played by Kate McKinnon, offering Stereotypical Barbie a choice of footwear — and life awareness).

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