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The layers of the Barbie movie are infinite, a review

The Barbie movie did more than put on a phenomenal film with elaborate dance numbers and carefully curated costumes — it brought together generations of women to celebrate the one thing we all have in common, yet the one thing we too often let slip away: womanhood. 

I approached the doors of the movie theater and was instantly overcome by waves and sprinkles of pink. I haven’t seen people dressed up for the movie theater in… well, ever.

People (mostly women) were dressed in pink from head to toe, some wearing long, elegant pink dresses with bubblegum pink high heels, others in intricate pink outfits that didn’t look like something they just threw on, it was crafted. I had never seen so many people come together for one shared, simple experience: Barbie.  

Of course, others (mostly men) were dressed in full-on suits for the new movie Oppenheimer, which I have to say was amazing as well. You could tell exactly what someone was going to see just by the lobby of the movie theater, which in and of itself, was beautiful.

As for the movie itself, I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t exactly what everyone expected it to be, but in all the best ways.

To start, it was perfectly casted with Stereotypical Barbie as the one and only Margot Robbie (which the narrator even makes a nod to). Barbie’s Ken being Ryan Gosling happily surprised me with his performance and of course Michael Cera as Allen, Ken’s Buddy, who so perfectly executed that role.

Directed by the talented Greta Gerwig, the film takes place in Barbie Land, where every Barbie we know and love, including some discontinued ones, live. They live perfect days every day and make up the entirety of the workforce. The Kens exist in the gaze of the Barbies and spend most of their time at “beach”. 

One day, Stereotypical Barbie started malfunctioning, having unshakeable thoughts of death, among other strange occurrences in her typically perfect day. Weird Barbie informs her she must go into The Real World to find whoever is playing with her and fix whatever is happening.

In Barbie Land, they believe that they helped make The Real World equal again, and that men and women live like how it is in Barbie Land. Of course, when Stereotypical Barbie enters The Real World, that isn’t the case.

Thus, a journey is pursued for Barbie (and Ken who tagged along to prove his bravery) to find the human playing with her. Along the way, Barbie learns the uncomfortable truth about change and death, the confusing intersection of feminism and equality and feelings of insecurity, anxiety and self-consciousness. It’s a lot.

While Barbie is off progressing into an existential crisis, Ken learns about the seemingly amazing wonders of the patriarchy and brings his new-found ideas back to Barbie Land in the form of beer, horses and lots and lots of mansplaining.

Throughout the film, Barbie is met with hard realities of what it means to be somebody — woman, man, and everything in between. She finds the flaws in what it means to be “perfect”, and a beautiful speech is given by the talented America Ferrera about the impossibility of being a woman in today’s society. 

The layers to the Barbie movie are infinite. Surely this movie means something different to everyone who sees it. It’s a story about the complexity and intersectionality between womanhood, motherhood, childhood and every other identity.

The film perfectly and elegantly captures what it means to feel lost, always falling behind, never being good enough, always being looked down on and most importantly, how to get back up.

I can’t say enough good things about Barbie, and I implore you to see it for yourself and discover what its message means for you.

5 spinnaker sails

Spinnaker rates “Barbie” 5 out of 5 Spinnaker Sails.


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About the Contributor
Mallory Pace
Mallory Pace, News Editor
Mallory Pace is a fourth-year journalism major at the University of North Florida minoring in marketing. First joining Spinnaker in 2022 as a volunteer, she later became the government reporter and then Spinnaker's news editor. Leaving Spinnaker after the summer 2023 semester, Mallory is pursuing her passion for writing with an internship at Folio and is expected to graduate at the end of the semester.

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