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Were You a Barbie Girl? Revisiting Beliefs Around Womanhood.

A woman with grey hair swimming in a resort pool

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The Beliefs of a Barbie Girl

I was a Barbie Girl growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s. I had Barbie this and Barbie that and played with it for a very long time.

So I must admit when I heard the Barbie movie was coming out I thought, “Really, do we need a Barbie movie? Isn’t society screwed up enough with perfectionism beliefs”?

I had a HUGE predetermined belief about what the movie would be because I grew up with all things Barbie so I knew all about Barbie and therefore what to expect with the movie. Right?

I believed that Ken and Barbie would be driving around in their perfect camper van, in their perfect life, with their perfect bodies, hair and clothing. Because for me, looking back on my childhood now, I can see that Barbie was the biggest sham of perfectionism in our culture ever.

Who ever had those measurements? That hair? Those clothes? Who ever had that perfect life and a pristinely clean home and camper van? WHO??? Certainly never me.

Do you know that if Barbie were an actual woman, she would be 5'9” tall, have a 39” bust, an 18” waist, 33” hips and a size 3 shoe! Barbie would weigh in at 110 lbs (even though she called herself “full figured”), and she would have a BMI of 16.24 fitting the weight criteria for anorexia.

Barbie was a lie.

Ken was a lie.

It was ALL a lie.

A lie that little girls like me who were given a Barbie doll would look at and think "I need to have that perfect, long, straight, blonde hair. I must have that “perfectly” shaped body and be that perfect weight. And I must smile, ALL. THE. DAMNED. TIME." Honestly it is ludicrous.

I had realized and accepted this Barbie lie and moved on in my not-Barbie-perfect life, but here was the Barbie movie to stir up some unhealed Barbie play time crap within me.

So you can imagine how stunned I was when I saw the pop-culture coverage of the Barbie movie and that the amazing director, Greta Gerwig blew that Barbie lie to smithereens. The movie acknowledges what I and so many other girls growing up with Barbie subconsciously believed just because we played with the stupid toy.

I can’t wait to see the movie once its streaming (there isn’t a theatre nearby that’s showing it) and I know I’ll love it because it has completely re-written Barbie’s story and therefore completely re-written my childhood story, too.

Speaking Our Known Truth

If you haven’t seen it yet, the Oscar-worthy monologue that I can’t wait to witness actor America Ferrera recite on screen (knowing it will churn up tears because of it’s now known truth) goes like this:

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.“

I know with this monologue Barbie and I are going to be besties going forward because I’m now proudly a Barbie Girl.

Massive congratulations to Greta Gerwig and her cast for turning the patriarchal perfectionism Barbie culture on its pretty blonde head.

Congratulations to her for giving society something real to think about. Something real to talk about. Congratulations for making the men who want women to act and be like Barbie, uncomfortable.

Growth only comes from discomfort. To change things in our world we must be uncomfortable. For society to change we must get very uncomfortable. And it is definitely time for society to change, so lets get uncomfortable.

If this blog post stirs something within you, makes you throw your arms up in the air in a full body YES, makes you think and wonder and maybe makes you a little bit uncomfortable, know that I’m here to hold your hand and support you on your journey of change and awakening. I currently have two openings in my upcoming 4 week one-on-one Summer Soul Sessions. I hope one of them is for YOU! I can’t wait to share the steps I’ve taken in my journey as I guide you on yours.

Visit my website or socials below for more ways to work with me or to set up a call to learn more.


Sharon xo



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