This article covers a history of Barbie, as well as an analysis of the live action Barbie movie. Barbie lovers and haters alike often debate whether the iconized doll is a feminist figure. Those who critique her argue that the messages she sends are superficial, or that Barbie perpetuates an unrealistic beauty standard and causes harm to the mental well being of her audience, especially because most of her target audience is made up of younger, impressionable girls. However, there is no doubt that Barbie can also be a role model for her audience. She was the first doll to be seen as an independent woman, with any career she wanted, a house, and a car without reliance on a man. Especially with the release of the live action Barbie movie, I argue that Barbie has been an activist for feminism throughout her lifetime and especially in the present day. The movie is able to critique both genders, while supporting the idea that feminism is a movement to lift women to an equal standard of men without demeaning men themselves. The film acts as a reminder that Barbie has furthered the feminist movement rather than hindered it.
Ho, Renee, "Barbie: For Better or Worse" (2023). Pop Culture Intersections. 58.