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Jordan Reid

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The ‘Barbie’ movie shouldn’t be politically divisive

Jul 27, 2023

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“Barbie” brought in $162 million on its opening weekend, securing its place as the highest-grossing opening for a female director in cinema history. But despite its financial success, not everyone liked it. Many Republicans blasted the film because it featured a transgender actress and was supposedly spreading Chinese propaganda.

Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid says she isn’t surprised that a movie about a Barbie doll could be a polarizing issue “given how virtually everything these days has to exist along a political divide.”

Of course Ted Cruz just had to get into the game with some kind of nonsense about how the film is … oh yes, Chinese propaganda. It’s some theory about, like a hand-drawn map with nine dashes that’s shown at some point in the movie, and, I mean, I’ve listened to this interview — I have no idea what he’s talking about. I also am quite certain that this man has not seen this movie. 

There’s also been a deeply misogynistic backlash against star Margot Robbie with incel types going on about how just they, you know, they find her like “meh” attractive. Oh, sure, you would never go out with Margot Robbie. The hateful rhetoric being targeted at the actor even mirrors some of the movie’s plot line, when Barbie finds herself suddenly surrounded by the men of the real world and realizes that they make her feel unsafe in her own skin. 

None of this is especially surprising given how virtually everything these days has to exist along a political divide — from what we drink to what we read to, I guess, whether we prefer movies about nuclear warfare or dolls fighting the patriarchy.

But you know what’d be nice? To just allow this fabulous movie about a doll that addresses lingering feelings of inadequacy stemming from childhood and reframes them as empowering calls for inclusivity — just let it be. Let it be wonderful.

I saw Barbie almost the second it came out at a Friday matinee with my kids while wearing pink, obviously. This movie was — and I do not use this word often — delightful. It was smart, hilarious, surprising, visually incredible, somehow a movie about a doll that I never really enjoyed all that much as a kid left me in tears. 

 

Now the right of course is going after Barbie. Why? Well, I guess because when you sign up for the Republican Party, you also have to sign a contract stating that thou shall not let fun things be fun. 

 

There’s a couple of critiques that we could have seen coming a mile away. For example, the casting of transgender actor Hari Nef as Dr. Barbie inspired the likes of Charlie Kirk to deem the trailer “The most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen”

 

Ben Shapiro and other lovely gentleman who always presents a solid and thoughtful opinion posted a truly insane review in which he holds a Barbie and a deeply phallic nuclear weapon toy, I guess to represent the very manly Oppenheimer movie, and declares Barbie one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen on every level, while also calling the costume designs, one of the only elements he apparently enjoyed as being “there for the ladies.” 

 

Oh, and then he lights Barbie and Ken on fire. Okay. 

 

Of course Ted Cruz just had to get into the game with some kind of nonsense about how the film is. Oh yes, Chinese propaganda. It’s some theory about, like, a hand drawn map with nine dashes that’s shown at some point in the movie, and I mean, I’ve listened to this interview. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I also am quite certain that this man has not seen this movie. 

 

There’s also been a deeply misogynistic backlash against star Margot Robbie with incel types going on about how just you know they find her like meh attractive. Oh, sure, you would never go out with Margot Robbie. The hateful rhetoric being targeted at the actor even mirrors some of the movie’s plotline, when Barbie finds herself suddenly surrounded by the men of the real world and realizes that they make her feel unsafe in her own skin. 

 

None of this is especially surprising given how virtually everything these days has to exist along a political divide from what we drink to what we read to I guess whether we prefer movies about nuclear warfare or dolls fighting the patriarchy. But you know, it’d be nice to just allow this fabulous movie about a doll that addresses lingering feelings of inadequacy stemming from childhood and reframes them as empowering calls for inclusivity. Just let it be. Let it be wonderful. Thank you

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