The recently released ‘Barbie’ movie just had the largest opening weekend of 2023, but reviews of the film are definitely a mixed bag — so if you’re trying to decide whether or not to see it, Students for Life of America (SFLA) is happy to help. Several of SFLA team members stepped up to the plate and saw the feature the night it came out, and we have to agree with the New York Times who also thought this movie was largely about abortion. Spoiler alert below: These are our thoughts on the movie’s more pro-life and pro-abortion themes.
- The human mother in the story gives a speech about how women can be anything they want to be — including a mom! This is an important point as our society seems to deem motherhood as an unimportant burden instead of a crucial, fulfilling vocation.
- As part of this, the human mother and human daughter’s relationship was also highlighted.
- Near the end of the film, the actress portraying Ruth Handler (the creator of Barbie) tells an upset Barbie, “We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back to see how far they have come.” This is a sweet line, causing many to consider their mother’s sacrifices with thankfulness.
- If you leave early, you might miss this: there was a preborn baby Barbie depicted in the end credits with pregnant Barbie.
- Midge, the only pregnant Barbie, is repeatedly portrayed as awkward and called “weird.” Her “weirdness” is stated as the reason why she’s discontinued — and in real life, this doll was discontinued years ago. For the many viewers who don’t know that history, however, it just feels like the film is normalizing making fun of pregnancy.
- At the beginning of the movie, little girls play with baby dolls and pretend to be mothers. The narrative implies that this is boring, however. The solution? Barbie comes onscreen, heroically wearing a swimsuit to save little girls from the boredom of playing Mom. The little girls proceed to smash the baby dolls…a picture which is just uncomfortable.
- There is a wide variety of crude sex jokes, despite the fact that this movie’s audience will also include Barbie’s demographic: young, impressionable, innocent girls. These references include mentions of gay masturbation, Ken’s “blob in his pants,” and Barbie stating that she and Ken don’t have a penis or vagina (apparently, there’s a Captain Obvious Barbie, as well? This is a children’s toy, after all.)
- One of the overarching messages of the movie is that women have no power — which just isn’t true; look no further than our own Vice President of the United States being a woman. However, the Barbie movie nevertheless tried to make this point. The movie even stated that “one day the Kens might have as much power and influence in Barbie world as women have in the real world.” Another character says, “I’m a man with no power… am I a woman?” There is a clear and reoccurring theme that women are oppressed if they don’t hold high positions in career fields.
- Men are also depicted as the villains of the movie. The word “patriarchy” is used repeatedly throughout the film to suggest that men rule the world and women are oppressed. Additionally, Ken and his male peers are depicted as stupid, selfish, and cruel. The movie tries to paint this as an accurate reflection of our reality, sharing the message that women and men hate each other.
If you’ve seen Barbie, did we miss any pro-life or pro-abortion themes?
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