This Barbie Likes To Meditate
A spiritual reading of the Barbieverse
I watched the new Greta Gerwig tent pole last night. Taking a moment to acknowledge the thrill of witnessing a woman at the helm of a summer blockbuster. That being said, this article is not about feminism.
Barbie, pure pink soul food for those that feel inclined or aligned. While the film is ripe with pop-culture and delightful pastiche, viewed through a spiritual lens it dives much deeper.
Barbieland is a whimsical matriarchy where all the characters exist under the moniker of Barbie or Ken (except for the singular Allan.) To me, the Barbie’s in Barbieland represent a profound metaphor for the illusion of separation.
We are all mirrors and reflections of each other, and it speaks to the universal oneness of energy that transcends limited identities (especially when it’s pink.) We’re all Barbie, in the truest sense of the phrase, there is no difference between you and me but for the limited identities we take on, the masks we put on to exist as individuals in society.
The film satirically presents the black-and-white views of the matriarchy vs the patriarchy. But within all the shades of pink, it’s showing us the grey.
I can not claim to be a feminist. And yet, I feel privileged to stand on the shoulders of women like Gloria Steinem, Sarojini Naidu and yes, even Kim Kardashian. Unapologetic women who paved the way to be their authentic selves in a society that didn’t make it easy or comfortable.
We are nowhere close to a gender equal society, that must be acknowledged. Nonetheless perhaps the journey of all the trailblazing women before us, has led us here, to a new dream. A post gender dream.
A world of true harmony can only exist with balance. A post gender world if i may, is not feminist or masculinist, but to borrow a phrase, simply, humanist. Universal laws tell us we each have a masculine and a feminine energy within us, and we exist in true alignment only when both energies are balanced within.
Perhaps therein lies the key to a balanced society, a world where we all feel empowered to embrace all within us without judgement. And maybe in balancing these energies within us, we can be the change, a collective healing that is needed for a truly progressive society, where inclusivity is but natural.
By flipping the paradigm, and subverting stereotypes, Barbie, the titular character, and the film, is wonderfully self aware of the role we all play as creator and creation of the world we love in. And yes, live in, too.
Spoiler alert, Barbie makes a considered choice to give up her life in toy-land and become human at the end of the film. And perhaps the sequel will be decidedly PG-13, at the very least. Maybe we will finally see Barbie and Ken lock lips, and unwind decades of cognitive dissonance around the love story of these two characters.
“Stereotypical Barbie” as the film calls her, has been a sex symbol for generations, and yet there still seems to be a conditioned repression around Barbie as a sexual being. Sequels exist for a reason, and I have faith in the old Matel and the new wave of Greta’s for Barbie’s sexual revolution.
The charming yet dated naïveté of the character could perhaps use a refresh, an healthy intimacy Barbie if you will, for those listening.
They say the fastest path to manifestation is joy, and at its core, that is what this film is, joyful.
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling shine, the cast is splendid, production design spectacular, costumes fiercely pink, and the world, as fantastical as they come.
I believe our identity exists beyond gender, race or any other limiting belief. But free will offers us a buffet of identities, and however you identify, Barbie, Ken, human or mermaid, and I would personally recommend mermaid, in the words of Barbieverse, remember you are Kenough.
This Barbie recommends watching the film with an open mind, and energetically immersing yourself in whatever fantasy it sparks within you!
Mandira Nevatia is a Filmmaker, Writer and Photographer .