Are any of us Kenough for the ideal that Barbie sets?
By Clare Willetts – CEO & Founder not only pink and blue
I might be a bit late to the party but I have frequently been asked what I thought of the Barbie movie, hence writing this blog.
Laughter from the start
The self deprecation and awareness of this is akin to the Skoda ads of old, and the Marmite ads where they lean into a negative about the product.
The real world vs Barbie world.
Is Ken's world Kenough?
Everything goes to pieces. Nothing works properly, the place is a mess, they are constantly one-upping each other, and nothing gets done. I can see why men have said they switched off at this point, and of course it’s funny as well because for women we only have to look at some adverts, or films and we recognise that we are often portrayed as useless. But Ken is consistently shown as a bit stupid, not quite bright enough to even realise that he needs to find his own way without Barbie. It’s Barbie who has to tell him this.
Would a matriarchy be the answer
Surely a world where the Barbies and Kens work together would have been a better one? Barbie could still have been Mayor.
perfection & cellulite
One of my biggest concerns, especially for parents taking their young children and younger teenagers, is that the level of perfection in the film is constant, and this perfection is not attainable, and nor should it have to be.
And perfect is recurring theme too – Barbie world is pink and perfect, and it is put back to this at the end. Perfection should not be our ultimate ambition – even the daughter who is not interested in pink is suddenly in a pink dress.
We all need to work together to create a more equal world so that all our children grow up knowing they are K-enough.
And I will watch it again, if only to see what I get from it on the second viewing.
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*Public Monuments and Sculpture Association
** The Guardian and Observer study into children’s books
*** Unilever, Unstereotype