A Powerful Message

I recently watched the Barbie movie based on recommendations from my daughters and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. It reminded me of my childhood and the hours I spent playing with my Barbie. It allowed me to be creative and use my imagination as I turned my bedroom into a Barbie mansion. I would make clothes for her and turn everyday items into “Barbie” furniture and accessories and had so much fun in the process.

I was especially moved by a speech given by one of the characters, Gloria, on the pressures of being a woman and wanted to share it with you because I found it to be so powerful.

Gloria’s full monologue from the Barbie movie.

It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people.

You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful.

You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.

What do you think about her speech? I would love to hear your thoughts.

4 thoughts on “A Powerful Message

  1. Touché, Lisa! What a great summary of the impossibility of living up to society’s (and sadly, often our own) expectations of women! Your summary reminds me of what Mom used to tell us us her daughters decades ago when we were young women.

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