By: Raina Ram and Evelyn Ramirez
Beyond the explosion of pink painted everywhere around the country this summer, Barbie carries a profound message that transcends the boundaries of a typical animated movie.
In a world often defined by materialism and superficiality, Barbie, at its core, is a story of self-discovery and empowerment and it invites audiences to explore themes of inner strength, compassion, and the interconnectedness of all beings. Barbie, the usual embodiment of perfection, navigates a world where she learns resilience, adaptability, and brings the audience on a spiritual odyssey where she learns to harness the power of mindfulness and perspective. These practices become her guiding light, and ours, as she navigates life's challenges.
As Barbie connects with mentors like Ruth, Gloria, and Sasha throughout the film, she discovers that the answers to life's questions are not external but reside within her. Through introspection, she taps into her inner strength, unlocking her true potential.
This journey not only empowers Barbie but also encourages viewers to embark on their path to self-realization. As Barbie seems to find herself in an existential crisis, Gloria comforts her and tries to get Barbie out of the funk she was in. Her monologue notably touches upon things many women around the world resonate with.
Gloria, played by actress America Ferrera, begins by saying “It’s literally impossible to be a woman” …“I’m just tired of watching myself and every single woman tie herself into knots so people will like us." She points out the true struggles and obstacles found in situations, and protests how crucial it is to detach ourselves from the expectations and standards society has written out for us. To not mold ourselves into someone we aren't just to please others, especially when people don't appreciate the lengths of it.
Ferrera delivered the message in a way that was controversial but made both men and women question the means in society. Every letter, word, and line was validating. Not only did it NOT degrade men, it made women truly look at themselves, and wonder why THEY let societal factors weigh on who they want to be.
The monologue points out a lot of contradictions with just the word “but“ as in "We have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong”.
The word “but” has its importance throughout the whole speech. There's always a “but," a perfect demonstration that there's always going to be something in the way, but we have to choose who we want to be everyday, not let society rule us, it encourages us to make a change one person at a time.
Fererra mentioned to The LA Times, “It just hit me as the truth. There's no woman in my life who those words aren't for." Though this isn’t part of the monologue it just adds on to why the message is so impactful and real it affects not only women but men, as they get blamed for how society was molded, as if they crafted it themselves.
The movie's stunning animation takes audiences on a visual journey through breathtaking landscapes and dreamlike sequences that mirror the inner landscapes of our consciousness. These moments of quiet reflection, set against the backdrop of mesmerizing visuals, invite viewers to contemplate the interconnectedness of all living beings and the profound beauty of the natural world. In a world where the pursuit of material success often overshadows the pursuit of inner peace and self-discovery, the Barbie movie serves as a spiritual beacon.
It reminds us that, like Barbie, we too can embark on a profound journey of imperfection within ourselves to unlock our true potential, find inner peace, and recognize our interconnectedness with all living beings and the natural world. A film that not only entertains but also touches the soul, leaving a sense of inner peace and a renewed appreciation for the spiritual dimensions of life. As it speaks to people, it expands and implodes different viewpoints.
Barbie's spiritual odyssey promises to be a timeless and transformative narrative for viewers of all ages.