The 'Barbie' Movie: Give Them Genitals, You Cowards
You may have recently seen some images floating around of Margot Robbie in a very pink car. That’s the first image of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie coming out next summer that stars Robbie as the titular character and Ryan Gosling as Ken because this movie is probably going to mess with us as much as those dolls did.
So pink. Also, this first official image was so clearly screaming for some photoshop meme action that it inevitably led to a joke renaming the movie Titane.
Titane, of course, features a protagonist who humps a car in the first Act because French films are bananas. But this joke about Barbie banging pink cars brings up a good point — for to boink, one must (preferably) have genitals. Given the long and controversial nature of Barbie’s smooth anatomy, we only have one question for Gerwig: Will her Barbie movie feature characters with genitals? Or will Robbie’s nipples be plastered to death and Ryan Gosling be tucked like he’s auditioning for a drag show? Actually, that second part sounds both valid and awesome. Ken in drag, or don't even bother.
For a very long time — since 1959, to be exact — girls and boys and also their parents had to cope with the cognitive dissonance of a Barbie/Ken with long luscious legs that lead to absolutely nowhere. They had curves, boobs, and butts, but no nips and no schlongs because that somehow made them … too real?
Listen, no one wants to surprise their kid with a doll sporting a giant anaconda, but giving them the most featureless genital areas feels equally wrong, and kind of suppressive. Even so, Mattel (the company responsible for the no-genital dolls) at one point believed that Barbie should totally have babies because ‘Family Values’ are more important than addressing the existence of human junk. Remember this insufferable, not-so-body-positive doll?
That’s Midge, Barbie’s best friend, who carried a baby in her otherwise hollow stomach for … reasons? Who wanted this? Also, wow, having an actual baby is just the complete opposite of this quick and easy fantasy. Some blatant Baby Propaganda at work here, folks. Of course, the absurdity level immediately increased at the release of this pregnant doll, because of all the things people were complaining about, the biggest objection apparently involved Midge having a baby, alone. Oh, the horror.
See, Midge’s boyfriend Alan wasn’t packaged along with her, which according to some people was where the line between right and wrong had to be drawn. Alan was sold separately, mind you, but that didn’t matter because “Save the nuclear family!” and “Bad messaging!” and also just people loving to complain about something. At one point, Mattel added a wedding ring to Midge’s hand to try and please the fainting public, but the doll was later taken off the shelves because it just seemed easier than trying to appease the unappeasable.
So, with all that controversy of the past, what will Gerwig, Robbie and Friends do with this movie about dolls that have eyes that never blink? Oh, no … are they never going to blink either? How bendable will their legs be? So many questions. So many possibilities. So many images of Gosling in drag.
Zanandi is on Twitter and also on that other platform.
Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures