The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Barbie inspires discussions by teens across America

Barbie+inspires+discussions+by+teens+across+America
Katherine Lian
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Years of Barbie merchandise culminated in a live-action comedy film this summer by Greta Gerwig. The film is now the top grossing movie of the year and has entered into popular culture conversations across the country. Numerous Harrisites saw the movie over the summer and shared their thoughts about what made the movie strike such a chord. 

The film handles sophisticated themes, including the promotion of feminism, allowing young women to foster strength and support for one another. Junior Ramisa Sharif said, “Personally, I loved the Barbie movie. On the outside, it is a good way to describe [the] basics of feminism and explain how patriarchy affects both men and women. But when you analyze the [film] more and more, the director’s choices bring [it] together. As someone who [has] been a fan of Barbie since I was [young], it is nice to see that they gave [proper] representation to [the] characters.” 

Sophomore Michael Amuyev spoke about the insight and production of the movie. He said,  “I initially thought this movie wouldn’t be that good since [Barbie] never interested me, but it ended up beating my expectations. I resonated with the idea of how women were [viewed] in Barbie Land, [as] it is not fair for men [to] always [be seen as superior] in the real-world. I would definitely recommend this film to others [as] it gave me glimpses [of] the world I [have] never seen before. The lessons are beautiful [and] the movie is beautifully executed throughout.”

Despite the positive message it attempts to convey, many viewers on social media debate on whether the film truly embraces feminism. Critics claim that the Barbie movie lacks a level of depth as it does not acknowledge the various groups of women who face inequalities, creating situations that many cannot relate to. They add that by not addressing these differences throughout the film, it creates a sense of disconnection for women across the world. A critic from Time Magazine described the film as “pretty deep, but not that deep,” creating a larger rift between the viewers and the film’s essence. Others claim that the movie conveys male fragility as a weakness, reinforcing the ideals of toxic masculinity. Many viewers criticize its positive outlook towards challenging women’s human rights as well as its implications on a patriarchal structure.

Conservative nations in the Middle East have even banned the Barbie movie due to its inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community as it contradicts their religious and cultural values. In Lebanon, Kuwait, and recently Algeria, the film cannot be viewed due to the “promotion of homosexuality,” according to the Lebanese Prime Minister.  Despite the controversy surrounding the film, the Barbie movie has surpassed $1 billion on August 6, becoming the second-highest grossing film this year. 

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About the Contributors
Shamonti Shamim
Shamonti Shamim, A&E Student Profile Manager
Shamonti is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys drawing, binging Netflix shows (Alice in Borderland is her favorite), and visiting cityscapes. She enjoys writing for the Classic A&E Department and hopes to continue working with them.
Katherine Lian
Katherine Lian, Multimedia Chief
Katherine Lian is a senior at Townsend High School who enjoys taking pictures, dancing, and trying new things. Her favorite memory with The Classic was her trip to Albany with her peers.
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