Tag: barbie

Right-Wing Media Tried To Sink The 'Barbie' Movie -- And Failed Hugely

Before Barbie was even released, right-wing media tried to take it down , with an all-hands-on-deck pile-on intended to spur a right-wing boycott that would show Hollywood that it better not do that again. Instead, Fox News and Ben Shapiro and the rest of them showed the limits of their power. Barbie is a huge hit. It had the biggest opening weekend of any movie this year. The biggest opening weekend of any movie ever directed by a woman. The seventh-biggest second weekend ever, led only by four Marvel movies, a Star Wars movie, and a Jurassic World movie. The top movie in the second-biggest July box office of all time.

Barbie is on track to exceed $1 billion worldwide, after having the second-best non-holiday Monday ever and the best non-holiday Tuesday ever this week. The strong second weekend and weekdays show that Barbie has had exceptionally good word of mouth.

This represents a series of failures by the right-wing screamers. They thought they could put a dent in Barbie before it even launched. Instead, they failed at that and then the backlash that they predicted against “one of the most woke movies I have ever seen” (Ben Shapiro) and the “disappointingly low T from Ken” (Ginger Gaetz) also failed to materialize.

They really thought they were going to do this. Appearing on Fox News before the movie was released, author Peachy Keenan said, “I don’t really know what they were thinking, they just gave Barbie the Bud Light treatment.” She was directly referring to the casting of a trans actress in a supporting role, which was supposedly going to tank the entire movie. But really, Keenan was explaining the plan: Give Barbie the Bud Light treatment.

The pile-on spanned the right-wing media and influencer sphere, from Fox News to Newsmax, from Jack Posobiec to Elon Musk to Ginger Gaetz. The failure was massive.

In response, Fox News pivoted. The network couldn’t be positive about “Barbie,” but it was a major cultural phenomenon. What to do? Fox started running pieces like, “Black university lecturer refuses to subject daughter to Barbie over ‘White is always right’ ideology,” and “Barbie’s Dreamhouse must be ‘redesigned to survive’ climate change, CBS reports.” Oh, those wacky liberals, trying to attach a political agenda to Barbie , amirite?

Those pieces, for the record, are about a Salon article about one guy’s thoughts—in which he acknowledged that there are Black and Latino actors in the movie, and noted, “And no, I'm not that guy; I genuinely believe that artists and filmmakers can create whatever they want, but I must be cautious of what I expose my daughter to”—and about a somewhat tongue-in-cheek Instagram post by a climate advocacy group using Barbie to talk about the challenges of global warming. They’re not a political movement and its powerful media companies launching a major campaign against the movie.

The bigoted far right tried to flex its muscle and show that it could give “the Bud Light treatment” to any company that dared to step out of line with conservative-approved gender representation. Companies should take note that the muscles being flexed weren’t that impressive, after all.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos .

The Summer Of 'Barbie' Couldn't Come Too Soon

Every summer has an obsession. The best ones are inconsequential.

Way back in 2013, we were "arguing" over Robin Thicke's song Blurred Lines , also featuring Pharrell Williams. The song came under attack for allegedly reinforcing rape myths. The suspect line — "I know you want it" — was oft repeated. Frankly, that sounded to me like an observation, accurate or not, but hardly forced sex.

Rolling Stone laughed it off. "Thanks to its lascivious, Pharrell-spun hook," the magazine smirked, "it held the whole world in its slightly skeevy grasp all summer long."

This summer the talk is of Barbie. Finding any controversy over the renewed fascination with the 64-year-old Mattel doll will be quite a stretch. The inspiration is Greta Gerwig's upcoming movie Barbie , about what happens when the doll enters the human world. Due perhaps to the lack of anything else that's fun, bubblegum Barbie pink is now everywhere, even on the cover of Businessweek .

Now I haven't seen the movie. But it should be a happy trip in Gerwig's imaginative hands. And Ken is with her.

Though I don't know much about Barbie the movie, I know a whole lot about Barbie the doll, having been handed an early version some years back. I recall being intimidated by the "mature" figure, particularly her generous bazoom and freakishly tiny waist. Up until then, our dolls took the form of babies or young children. Suddenly we went from roller skates to pink Corvettes. Mattel reproportioned Barbie a few years later to reflect the human female a bit more realistically.

The Barbie wardrobe was always flashy. There's Barbie in slinky cocktail dresses. There's Barbie the foxy stewardess from the Pan Am days. Even Barbie Rodeo Cowgirl! had a come-on look, with her low-slung bell bottoms and cropped red sparkly vest.

I recall an eight-year-old who came to visit carrying her "box of Barbies." It was a shoebox containing heads, legs, naked torsos and tiny hip boots made of gold Mylar. The young visitor saw nothing macabre about the contents. I think she planned to assemble a whole Barbie — or most of a Barbie — as the afternoon went on.

An aunt in Houston, fearful of leaving her house, would sit all day at her sewing machine and make spectacular sun dresses for my cousin's Barbie. Nowadays, home seamstresses and foreign sweatshops alike churn out Barbie outfits.

The French took to the doll but not to the American brash styling. And so, some years ago, a French fashion designer created tailored tweed suits for Barbie.

As an international phenomenon, Barbie was not free of controversy. In 1994, Kuwait's College of Sharia and Islamic Studies supported a fatwa against the she-devil doll, joining Iran's ayatollahs, who had long banned her.

In 1998, sensitive souls in Puerto Rico objected to the Puerto Rican Barbie as too Anglo. This took Mattel by surprise. The toymaker had proudly presented one of the dolls, in a traditional white ruffled dress, to the wife of the Puerto Rican governor. Whatever. Come Christmas, Puerto Rican Barbies flew off the store shelves in San Juan and environs.

This summer's Barbiecore craze has spawned parties for which grownup women dress in the pink spandex and platform shoes covered in glitter. Has anyone found a pink Corvette?

In a 1977 interview, Barbie's creator Ruth Handler explained why she felt girls should have a sexy doll with puckered lips and thick eyeliner: "Every little girl needed a doll through which to project herself into her dream of her future." If she says so.

Anyhow, it's nice to color our world pink, if just for a few summer weeks.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators .