The recent Barbie movie has sparked excitement and interest around the world not just for its captivating marketing but also for its unique storyline that imparts valuable life lessons, especially for women and girls. Among these lessons, the theme of body positivity stands out as a significant stride towards promoting healthier perceptions of self and others. In a world where unrealistic beauty standards often prevail, the Barbie movie offers a refreshing perspective on body image (ironically enough), self-acceptance, and embracing diversity.
As we can safely assume you have watched “Barbie”, let’s discuss how the movie promotes self-love and the notion of breaking glass ceilings.
1. Individuality should be celebrated
One of the central tenets of body positivity is celebrating individuality. The Barbie movie emphasises that everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way. Whether you wear a saree or someone who loves the art of tattoos, you are beautiful in your own way. The film demonstrates that beauty can come in various forms by showcasing characters with a range of body types, skin tones, and features.
This narrative not only boosts self-esteem but also encourages viewers to appreciate the diverse beauty that exists in the real world, particularly in a melting pot like Singapore.
2. Challenging stereotypes
The Barbie franchise has undergone transformations over the years, gradually shedding the unrealistic proportions that once defined its iconic doll. The movie takes this evolution further by challenging stereotypes associated with beauty. While the main actress, Margot Robbie, plays “Stereotypical Barbie”, who has fair skin and is blonde, she is supported by a diverse cast which includes “President Barbie”, played by Senegalese-American Issa Rae, “Journalist Barbie”, played by Ritu Arya who is of Indian descent, and “Diplomat Barbie”, played by Irish actress Nicola Coughlan who is plus-size. All of these actresses are heavily featured in the film.
By presenting characters who break away from traditional notions of attractiveness, the film can inspire audiences to question societal norms and embrace a broader definition of beauty.
3. Overcoming insecurities
In a world where body shaming and insecurities run rampant, the Barbie movie offers insights into overcoming such challenges. The movie depicts various characters who have to navigate their own insecurities and how they come up stronger in the end.
For example, Gloria, the mother of the girl who owns “Stereotypical Barbie”, starts off with being uncomfortable with cellulite, a perfectly common skin condition that affects around 80-90% of women. By the end of the film, Gloria learns to accept and appreciate her body. Therefore, the film provides a roadmap for viewers to confront their own doubts and emerge with a renewed sense of self-worth.
4. Allies in friendship
Body positivity is not just about how we view ourselves, it is also about how we treat others. The Barbie movie spotlights the importance of being allies in promoting body positivity. In the movie, everyone treats each other with respect and kindness, and does not judge or discriminate against others based on their appearance, body shape, skin colour, etc.
Characters who uplift, support one another, and stand proud together, regardless of their physical attributes, can showcase the power of genuine friendship and its role in building a more inclusive society.
5. Redefining success
Barbie is often associated with glamour and success, but the movie redefines success beyond outward appearances. As mentioned above, the movie showcases different types of Barbies, from “President Barbie” and “Diplomat Barbie” to “Lawyer Barbie”, “Physicist Barbie”, “Writer Barbie”, “Journalist Barbie”, and many more.
In conclusion, the movie portrays characters who excel in various fields based on their talents, skills, and intelligence, shifting the focus from appearance-driven achievements to accomplishments that truly reflect an individual’s capabilities and character.
The Barbie movie has the potential to be a milestone in promoting body positivity among audiences of all ages. By weaving these life lessons into its narrative, the film can serve as a catalyst for change – challenging societal norms, fostering self-love, and inspiring viewers to embrace their own unique beauty. In a world where messages about appearance abound, the Barbie movie emerges as a beacon of positivity, guiding us towards a more inclusive and accepting future.
Most people experience body image issues at some point in their lives. If you are currently having concerns about your body and looks, a good professional counsellor in Singapore can help you fight against negative self-talk. A Space Between’s client matching service will pair you with a suitable therapist based on your needs and preferences.
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