Barbie’s Influence Not Fizzling Yet, Pink World Doll Still Trending

Barbie's Influence Is Not Ready To Fizzle Just Yet

Over a year before it got released The Barbie movie reached more than plain anticipation for the summer blockbuster that it’s now become. Everyone was eager to see Margot Robbie play Barbie and Ryan Gosling play Ken. The concept gripped its audience in a hot-pink fever.

In those first few months before the movie released in July many expected the film to be a feature length product placement move from Mattel. Some wondered it would be a fun nostalgic romp through the world of Barbie. And yet it proved to be so much more.

Director Greta Gerwig made it out to be a thematically as well as visually vivid story about the social pressures exerted on women, children, and men. The pink playful world of Barbie has been neatly offered as a $159 million dollar marketing campaign that Mattel says includes about 165 collaborators.

Fans even bought Barbie-themed designer shoes as well as pink Birkenstock, they ate Barbie ice cream and exercised with Barbie inline skates. The film’s 90’s style Barbiecore fashion trend kept going strong. For this years Halloween (read Barbieween) Barbie and Ken costumes stayed the trendiest.

With $1.4 billion global box office receipts, Barbie became the highest-grossing film from a solo female director, for WB in 2023. It is also the 14th highest-grossing film ever released. This commercial success can be safely attributed to the plot’s deep resonance with women. The movie explores women’s struggles with their appearance, toxic masculinity and the difficult road to empowerment.

Rebecca Hains, a professor of media and communication at Salem State University in Massachusetts says, “The film expanded the general idea of what Barbie looks like and what Barbie can be. It was very skillful on the film’s part to address all of the feminist criticism of Barbie and say that the problem isn’t with Barbie, but what the real world brings to Barbie.”

Vanessa Schwartz, a USC history professor who researches film and entertainment remarked, “It is the idea that you can destroy patriarchy without getting rid of men.”

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Sarmind Safi