Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has been out for more than two weeks already, and most of us super enthusiastic Barbie fans have already had the pleasure of experiencing it. (If you haven’t, please be aware that this article will have spoilers for major plot points!). We wore our best pink outfits, took our friends and sat in the theatre to watch this highly anticipated film. When it finished, we came out with more than smiles and fuzzy feelings. We came out with lessons from Barbie.
As expected from Greta Gerwig, Barbie is a film with deep meaning behind it. It’s nostalgic to the women who grew up playing with Barbie, but it also aims to provide them with lessons from Barbie they can use today. For Greta, Barbie does not lose her role in a woman’s life when she grows up. Barbie has lessons she can teach us all that we can take to adulthood.
The Best Lessons from Barbie
The almost two-hour spectacular film is packed full of life lessons. It aims to take all the great things Barbie is meant to teach little girls and apply them to young women today. That is not to say it’s blind to harm the image of Barbie has also done to girls. Barbie addresses all aspects of girlhood and womanhood concerning everyone’s experiences as much as possible. In doing so, it aims to leave the viewers with lessons from Barbie that they can carry in their hearts forever.
So, if you have the incredible chance to see Barbie, go ahead and continue reading to discover with us the excellent lessons from Barbie that we have learned. If you haven’t watched Barbie yet, get your favourite pink outfit, go watch, and come back! We will be here waiting for you!
Don’t Let Your Expectations Cloud Your Judgement
She lived in Barbie Land all her life and saw the world in pink. Women ruled everything. They achieved all their goals. Life was perfect every day. Barbie took these expectations and went to the real world expecting to see the same thing. But you and I know this is not how our world works! Barbie’s high expectations left her crippled and unable to understand how the real world works.
In time, she does learn to let go of her expectations of the real world and how girls and women see her. She knows to listen and observe and allows herself to add to her worldview. One of the most essential lessons from Barbie is learning to manage our expectations and let ourselves see the world for what it is, not for what we think it should be. That being said, we should still aim for a better world. But we can’t be blind to what the world is right now.
All Emotions Are Valid and Important
When Barbie starts to feel glitches in her system, she is told it’s due to the person playing with her having negative emotions. Weird Barbie encourages Barbie to find that child and help her overcome her feelings to feel good again. In Barbie’s mind, she doesn’t understand why a girl would feel wrong about anything. To be fair, that is due to her belief that the Barbies fixed the world!
As Barbie meets Sasha and her mother, she learns that girls and women have complicated feelings, and it is okay to sometimes feel inadequate, anxious, or scared. No one feels good all the time. Our bad feelings help us appreciate our good ones. They also help us grow and help us empathise with others around us.
As we grow up, our range of emotions will get bigger and bigger, and it’s essential to learn to accept and work through all our feelings. That is one of the most important lessons from Barbie.
You Can Be Anything You Want (And That Can Be Stressful!)
From the beginning of the film, we’re told that the main message behind creating Barbie is to let girls know they can be anything! Girls can be doctors, lawyers, astronauts, writers, Nobel Prize winners, or even presidents! There is no limit to what a girl can achieve if she puts her mind to it. Barbie saw all this potential represented in all the other Barbies around her, and it empowered her. It also made her feel inadequate or like she was not enough.
It’s important to know that girls have the potential to become everything they want. It’s good to push girls forward and encourage them to dream big and go after their dreams. However, we should also acknowledge that doing this is no easy job. Being told you can do anything you put your mind to can be stressful and overwhelming.
It’s okay to feel that way and like you need to take a breath and slow things. It’s one of the best lessons from Barbie to learn to appreciate yourself in all your forms.
Feminism Doesn’t Have to Look the Same for All of Us
Barbie looked at herself as an icon of feminism. She looked at herself as empowering and upbeat and a force for good. However, when she visits the real world for the first time, she finds out that not everyone sees her that way. (She got called a Fascist by Sasha!). Sasha and her friends see Barbie as a bad example for girls; from their point of view, they are not wrong. For them, Barbie represents a false standard of beauty. She makes girls who don’t look like her feel inadequate and insufficient about themselves.
On the other hand, Sasha’s mother views Barbie as a source of empowerment. For her, Barbie represents the opportunity to be and create whatever you want. She thinks of Barbie as a tool that helps her love and believe in herself. Different generations might have different views on feminism, and that’s okay.
We all want the same thing, which is for women to be empowered and have the choice to choose who they want to be. If we try, we can find common ground in our different views of feminism. It’s not a you vs. me but an us vs. the world. That is one of the lessons from Barbie to keep close to your heart.
It’s Not Your Job to Fix the People Around You
Ken was created as Barbie’s love interest. However, Barbie was not made for Ken. She was made long before Ken and had her own goals and life. When Ken’s Kingdom fell, and he felt lost, he wanted Barbie to fix or tell him what to do. But Barbie knew that was not her job. Ken needs to find himself, what he likes and how to improve. It’s not Barbie’s job to fix Ken or to stop her life for him.
Take that message and apply it to your life. Sometimes, we put pressure on ourselves to fix the people around us. We forget about our lives and get wrapped up in other people’s problems and lives. We’re not saying you shouldn’t be helpful and look out for the people you love. You should.
However, you should also know that it’s not your job. You’re not required to fix everything and always be on call. Only do that when you want to and not when others expect it. This is one of the hard lessons from Barbie. It can take some time to fully embrace, but that’s okay.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
When Barbie first noticed her flat feet, she immediately turned to her friends. She asked them for help, and when they didn’t know what to do, they encouraged her to ask for further assistance. Even a little apprehensive, Barbie went to Weird Barbie and asked for her advice. She went to the real world and did not hesitate to accept help from Sasha and her mother when they offered it. Barbie knows when she needs help and is unafraid to ask for it.
You should be the same as well! Asking for help does not make you weak. It does not mean you are incapable, stupid, or whatever negative associations you have with help. It shows great strength and intelligence to know when to ask for help. We can’t all know everything about everything. Knowledge is divided among us, and we should feel okay asking about what we do not know.
The only way we can all move forward is to ask and accept others’ help. So be like Barbie and always know there is power in knowing when to ask for assistance. One more item to add to your lessons from Barbie!
Fight For Your Power
When the Kens took Barbie Land from the Barbies, Barbie was tempted to give up. For a moment, she felt powerless and weak. But with the help of other women around her, she fought back. She fought back the feeling of powerlessness to get what was rightfully hers. She and the Barbies built Barbie Land and made it what it is today, and there was no way in hell they would just give it up.
Never apologise for your power. Never feel guilty that you’re good at something. You earned your power. As a woman, building yourself up in the world is not easy. And even when you get there, some people make it their mission to bring you down to where they think you belong. But you know where you belong. Fight for your power and for everything you’ve worked hard to achieve. Do not sit down and think the world will magically become a fair and just place. Do the work to make it so.
This is one of the most vital lessons from Barbie, and we hope you’ll take it to heart.
It’s Not Easy Being a Woman, So Be Gentle with Yourself
America Ferrara’s big speech before the Barbies went to take Barbie Land back is one of the main lessons from Barbie. When Barbie says she is not enough, Gloria delivers a critical message. She says that women are always expected to be something, and it’s the exact opposite at the same time. You should have your own money but never show that you seek it. You should be nurturing and motherly but also independent and remarkable. You should care for everyone around you, but don’t let your emotions rule you.
Women are held to such high standards that it cripples them. Society will not tolerate a mistake from you but, at the same time, treat you like you are the weak one. The one who doesn’t know how to act or what to do. You’re expected to do everything and nothing. To be what everyone needs, but act like you’re not that important. It’s like women can never be enough for the world.
You know what, though? You are enough. Don’t wait for acceptance from society. Accept yourself. Empower yourself. Know your worth and act accordingly. It’s not easy being a woman, so don’t make it harder on yourself by doubting your value. If you only get one of the lessons from Barbie, let it be this one: You Are Enough.
Barbie is a profound movie with great lessons itched into the very fabric of the plot. You will have fun listening to the soundtrack, diving in all the pink, and gawking at the gorgeous outfits, but you will also learn a lot. From learning about accepting your emotions to understanding that patriarchy has nothing to do with horses, lessons from Barbie will forever change your perspective on life.
Read more about the stunning Barbie film location and maybe plan a visit to Barbie Land yourself!