Sti laugh a lot watching the blockbuster movie barbie, but you also think a lot. The film is too full of stimuli, to the point of making it difficult to identify the final message. Is this a movie for or against Barbie? For or against Mattel? Are you for or against feminism? Is the confusion intentional?
As far as I’m concerned, it forced me to rethink myself as a child and to remember what kind of stimuli determined the advent of Barbie in my female life.
My only Barbie was the standard one and this already puzzled me. What would I do with a stiff doll, hard enough that throwing it at someone could be a problem?
After hugging Cicciobello, soft and responsive to the touch, Barbie’s stiffness seemed like a loss to me. But what that doll produced on me only Mattel could have foreseen.
Barbie, to function as a toy, needed a series of accessories which slowly became the real game: clothes, cars, houses, life partners like Ken and Skipper.
My parents, who had interpreted Barbie like other dolls, even though they had the possibility to gratify me, gave me a couple of outfits, leaving the rest to me and my imagination, as always.
A grunge doll came out of it, dressed in what I was able to compose with my hands, sewing and knitting. Mine was a single, lonely and homeless Barbie who found hospitality in the cars and houses of her “equipped” friends.
Simply put, Barbie brought the joys and sorrows of capitalism into my life, the idea that imagination is not enough when society makes it look like a pauper’s gimmick. At no point did I identify with that dollin no way stimulated in me an idea of what I wanted to be.
And yes, looking back on it, Barbie rather taught me that life would be hard if I put my satisfaction in what could only be acquired with money. Out of reaction and inclination, I invested my imagination in books which repaid me abundantly. And, if I’m here to write, I owe it to her too. So thank you Barbie, hating you a little was nice.
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All articles by Antonella Baccaro
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