Pretty little truths…in pink

I have never witnessed irony more perfect, sublime, amusing, and relentless. I have never been privy to such an overwhelming juxtaposition. I have never felt such giddy happiness mixed with such skittish sadism. This was all because of one movie – Barbie. I cannot even begin to tell you how marvelous this movie is.

This is not a film review. This is a heartfelt acknowledgment, based on my generally sprightly opinions on what’s right and what’s wrong – I may be highly opinionated, but that’s just how it is.

This piece may contain spoilers, so watch Barbie, then come read it.

I have thought, many times over, if it would be possible to change the world in such a way that people don’t change because they’re forced to, but because they want to. Never once did I come close to imagining that this change could be possible because of a movie. And a rather short one, at that.

At first, I thought the movie would be feel-good, and funny, but pointless. For a girl who still has all her Barbie dolls dolled up, this movie definitely meant a lot, but the extent to which the irony hit was unexpected. In the context of the real world, Barbie’s world is a utopia. Right from the beginning, I wished Margot Robbie would just take me with her, to wake up with her perfect smile, shower, and dress in a flawless few seconds, and land in your car, wearing pencil heels and a feathery dress, like it were a cloud of cotton candy.

But Barbie isn’t just that – in fact, by the end of it all, she isn’t that at all. She’s every girl’s emotion, hell, she’s every person’s emotion – the highs and the lows and the sadness and the happiness, the crying, the laughter, the existential crises, all of it.

Most of all, if I had to describe this masterpiece in one word, it would be ‘EMPOWERING’. The subtility with which such heavy issues were handled was a blow to me, in the sense that it finally hit me that everything doesn’t require a fight – sometimes all it needs is sound marketing, a good cast, and a lot of pink.

Where is the world heading?

Today’s world is a lot better for women, as a whole – they have better rights (in many places), better jobs, better pay, better lives consequently, better understanding from other people, and so a lot has gotten better. However, whether or not we like to hear it, we live in a predominantly male-dominated world, and coming from the context of an eighteen-year-old, it’s probably from the good record of encounters and situations she’s viewed and read about that such a statement is made. That having been said, people are gaining self-awareness and helping to accelerate change and make this world a safer, happier place.

A lot of people have argued with me saying I keep howling about empowerment and rights and awareness, even though I was born of considerable privilege. I don’t disagree – my position is much better than that of many others. In my humble opinion, that gives me the responsibility to voice the minds of those who do not have such freedom. Another thing I’d like to say in this context is that just because a girl is in a better position than others like her, it does not mean she doesn’t go through her fair share of problems. Yes, I mean, for example, such girls are probably objectified by a group of people (women are not objects to get whistled at or taunted at), or are not given the license to pursue their careers to the extent that their male counterparts are allowed to, or are expected to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, not cross a ‘line’, be mindful of what ‘others’ would think of them, and the list goes on. So don’t give me that ‘this is just how the world is, accept it and move on’ rubbish. It’s better, but we’re not completely there yet.

Together or nothing.

And to get there, everybody has to make a change from within. People have to be less judgemental, have to view everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, gender or sexual orientations, etc. as equals, and have to acknowledge that women play a very vital role in the world and that without them, I’m sorry to say nothing will be the same. This generation is key to making all this a reality – so, people must get over themselves and get over false notions that are apparently cool (such as making gender-biased/racist/misogynistic/etc. jokes, which are not funny in any situation, because if it’s gender-biased/racist/misogynistic/etc. it’s not funny), and start making positive change. Women are mothers and sisters and wives and all those extensive roles they play, but women are also artists and CEOs and managers and doctors and game-changers.

Perhaps one of the first few women who inspired me – Luna, Ginny, and Hermione (left to right)

‘She has her own money, her own house, her own car, her own career. Because Barbie can be anything, women can be anything.’ I’m simply quoting from the movie. For those of you vainglorious divas who think Barbie is only for self-righteous girls in pink, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, this movie is especially for you.


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