After seeing the new Barbie movie, I realized that every article was about how there were underlying, deep, and in my opinion, complicated messages in the film. For example, one article explains how the movie exemplifies that "extremes of masculinity and femininity are damaging to everyone” or “womanhood is a constant balance of contradictions, and recognizing that is empowering.” But what about the basic messages? Barbie started out as a doll for little kids to play with. As more children wanted to see themselves represented, the Barbie franchise evolved to be one of the most forward thinking toys in regarding diversity and inclusion, with 22 ethnicities, 35 different skin tones, 97 hairstyles, and 9 body types, not to mention her innumerable careers. All of these children from hugely diverse backgrounds are all going to see a movie about their favorite toy. The messages they will take home are far simpler and even more powerful. Here are a few messages I took home with me that I think kids might have taken home as well.
Don’t rely on other people to make you happy; find your own path to happiness.
Don’t take other people’s things; it’s not nice and you won’t win in the end anyway.
Loyalty is one of the most important values in friendship
Sometimes you just have a bad day, and that’s okay.
Be open to being friends with all types of people. Sometimes the person who is there when you need them is the last person you’d expect.
Dance and be happy because research shows that there is a positive connection between dancing and an increased life span.
Everyone has problems. Don’t assume that anyone has the perfect life. Not even Stereotypical Barbie.
You are Kenough.