Barbie, Identity, And Being Enough

by July, Movie Reviews and Recommendations, Testimonies

Imagine a land where everything is pink, every night is girl’s night, and women hold all offices of power. This describes Barbieland, the place where all Barbies live: the stereotypical Barbies, the discontinued Barbies, all the Kens, and even Allan. This world may seem intriguing to some, but if you look deeper, it will leave one longing for more.

Many have strong thoughts on Barbie, claiming it is the most feminist movie of the year, and therefore, some may be tempted to simply write it off. But if we take the time to look a little deeper, themes of worth, wholeness, and the universal longings of the human heart can be drawn to the surface. Beneath all that pink plastic, Barbie is a story about identity. 

Barbie Is A Story About Identiy

Barbie, who is played by Margot Robbie, is meant to be a role model for women, but feels like she has failed when she visits the real world and sees women aren’t ruling. Similarly, Ken, while in the real world, learns of patriarchy and runs with it, believing he will finally be able to earn Barbie’s admiration through horses and man caves. Ken tries to bring patriarchy to Barbieland by making it Kendom, but even that fails to satisfy. Confronted with their failures, they start to question their purpose. Barbie and Ken begin asking themselves: Why am I here? Who do I serve? What gives my life meaning? 

I too have struggled with purpose and worth. Is just being myself enough? Are my desires, my dreams, enough? As a woman do I need to be more? This comparison game can go on and on, but in a place of self-doubt and navel gazing, we must turn back to reality. We are perfectly loved and desired by our Creator, by God Himself because we are His. He loves us for our own sake. 

“Of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his creator. He is the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity.”

CCC #356

I Am Kenough

The main point to take away is that YOU are enough. In the words of Ken, “Here I’m just a dude and you know what? That’s enough. I am Kenough.” We need to let God love us as we are, and in that love, He will continue to perfect our desires and our dreams. Being rooted in God’s love, we learn how to love ourselves in the messiness and the beauty, and we are able to live out our dreams and desires freely. 

At the end of the movie, Barbie has a choice—go back to Barbieland or join the real world. In a touching scene, her creator, Ruth, invites her into what it means to be human, and Barbie sees images of children with their mothers. With tears in her eyes and without hesitation, Barbie gives a simple “yes.” Fast forward to the closing scene of the movie and we see Barbie in the real world at her first doctor’s appointment – more specifically her gynecologist.  In a movie where modern femininity seems to be pushed to an extreme, it is surprising to see that in going to the real world, stereotypical Barbie does not want to be a doctor or a lawyer but a mother. We see her make a complete 360. Barbies were created to let women know they can be anything and I do think there is value in that message. But in the end, with the world at her fingertips, Barbie just wants to be a mother and maybe that was enough after all.

This article originally appeared HERE.

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Photo by Sandra Gabriel on Unsplash

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