Barbies And Kens, Let's talk…

August 7, 2023

The sans-serif typeface used for writing the actors' names is Avant Garde Font. You are welcome. Now let’s talk about this movie…without spoilers?

So I went to watch Barbie, obviously for the design inspiration and to see the imaginary world created by the talented set, costumes and make-up designers. But what I was left with was a few chuckles, thought-provoking moments living in my brain rent-free and tears. Yes, I cried. And no, I wasn’t on my period. And if you haven’t cried,  well, analyse this with yourself and maybe rewatch the movie again and think about all the women in your life and their points of view.

Barbie and Ken written in a Barbie font replica from the movie Barbie
Experiment with available replica fonts from the movie.
Lead hair and makeup artist for the movie, Ivana Primorac, was the person tasked with giving life to the beauty aesthetic of the denizens of Barbie Land. —

The first name in the credits that I spotted was the Croatian make-up and hair artist Ivana Primorac. In my opinion, everyone was looking stunning. Even weird Barbie.

Be yourself. - Photo by Sandra Gabriel on Unsplash

Anyway, what is so special about this movie? Well, first for context I never had a Barbie doll, not for long that is. I got a bunch of dolls for one of my birthdays when I was little and they were all in one big bag (second-hand gifted). But after a few days of playing in the yard with them, and having them EVERYWHERE my grandpa one day woke up and decided to throw them all away. Yes, I cried a lot back then too. Later I got one teddy bear and that was the only toy I had.

So honestly I never got the full doll experience, and I do not know the types of Baries that exist, nor do I know who the heck Ken is. 😄 And to be honest, for a Barie movie he got too much screen time. But I do understand the point the movie team wanted to make by showing both perspectives of the characters by switching the narrative.  

Of course around the Barbie doll topic there are multiple layers:

  • Gender roles
  • Financial self-suficiency
  • Unrealistic beauty standards
  • Ken being an accessory for Barbie
  • Races, cultural representation and more.

Topics touched on in the movie:

  • Existential crisis and death
  • Barbie
  • Feminism
  • Is Ken being the bad guy?
  • Branding and consumerism and more.

One scene got me. Not only for the fact of pointing out the elements of living in patriarchy but the nonchalant attitude of being rude. The scene in particular where Will Ferrell shushes the woman in the lobby pissed me off. At first, it looks like it is nothing special, but as every woman knows, growing up (most of us) were silenced and raised to not take too much space, not to raise our voice, to not be bold, brave, and so on…Which is very convenient for some people but suppresses others.

What I love is the fact of current women’s improvement, and self-discovery journey was instilled in the movie with the assertiveness we are learning to hold. Mothers are mothering as Gen Z’s would say.

In conclusion, what is so special about this movie is that makes space for conversions. Conversations about self-realisation, exploration and development. Being your main character without looking for the completion from either gender. Because truly we are enough.

Let me know, what you think about the movie and which scene stood out the most to you!

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