If I could start queuing for the film now, I probably would. But given that its release date is in July, I’d probably do well to anticipate from afar.
arlier this week, the teaser trailer for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie landed online, and it’s every bit as sugary, sickly pink and high octane as you might expect. The trailer features a landscape of little girls playing with their baby dolls.
A huge Barbie, evidently played with saccharine relish by Margot Robbie, looms on the landscape, wearing the exact striped swimsuit that the original Barbie wore for her launch year in 1959.
The little girls suddenly ditch their outdated dolls, mesmerised by the lithe and lissom ‘woman’ doll. This tallies a bit with the real-life history of the doll, incidentally.
Its creator Ruth Handler noticed that her son had more toy options to play with than her daughter, who was left to entertain herself with baby dolls.
The release of the film next year is likely to spark a slew of think pieces about Barbie’s cultural influence and legacy. As a babylady doll with almost inhuman bodily proportions — legs til next Friday, a thigh gap, the waist dimensions of a breadstick — and a neat line in sexy outfits, Barbie’s influence on impressionable young girls has long been raked over.
But the thing is, Barbie was created to unbridle the imaginations of little girls. She offered a version of life to girls that had nothing to do with mothering or homemaking.
With her myriad careers, multiple houses, squad of friends and every accoutrement a high-flying metropolitan girl could ask for, Barbie was probably a better role model than she was given credit for. I was a happy convert from the age of seven, thanks to an aunt who delighted in buying them for me — in a twist that would entertain Handler, my poor brothers had to make do with sweets.
I fashioned a house for them out of two wardrobe drawers, and spent many of my childhood afternoons creating outrageous storylines for Barbie, Ken and Barbie’s half-dozen sisters.
My imagination was limitless and my ‘storylines’ got pretty racy. To me, it was a safe way to explore feelings around careers, relationships and family. Far from teaching me about what ‘skinny’ meant, Barbie was a blank canvas, on to which I could project anything I wanted.
It’s true, Barbie has had a tumultuous history for a 63-year-old. In the early 1990s, a new talking Barbie said four phrases chosen at random from 270 expressions. Among them were: “Want to go shopping?” and “Math class is hard!”
A decade later, sales took a nosedive thanks to competition from similarly glam dolls like Bratz. More recently, Barbie’s makers have changed tack and gone into image rehabilitation mode, and now Barbie’s tagline is: ‘You can be anything.’
Now the Barbie range has four different body types and nine different skin tones. This year, the first transgender Barbie was launched, modelled after Laverne Cox.
Clearly, something is going right. Mattel recorded profits of $903m in 2021 versus $123m the previous year, a 19pc increase from 2020.
Given that mumblecore royalty Greta Gerwig and her partner Noah Baumbach are behind the Barbie film, hopes are high that this will be a cinematic high-point, or at the very least, a cinematic joy ride.
Brows were furrowed when Gerwig, who does a fine line in great indie fare, took on the Barbie project, but it seems the franchise is in especially good hands.
See you in the queue, eventually.
Celeb nepotism-baby gripes ring hollow
The nepotism-baby conversation appears to be having a major moment this week thanks to a deep dive in New York Magazine, complete with a meme-worthy graph on who is related to whom in the world of celebrity.
Several celebuspawns have already talked of the privilege of being a nepo-baby.
Gwyneth Paltrow has remarked that she had to work “twice as hard” in Hollywood thanks to her famous parents, while Lily-Rose Depp opined that while famous parents will get one’s foot in the door, “there’s a lot of work that comes after that”.
This week, Lily Allen offered her take on the plight of nepotism babies: “In childhood, we crave stability and love, nurturing, we don’t care about money or proximity to power yet,” she wrote online. “Many of the nepo babies are starved of these basic things in childhood as their parents are probably narcissistic.
“And the entertainment business is not parent-friendly e.g. touring/months away shooting.
“It can be hard to see one’s own privilege when you’re still processing childhood trauma, and a lot of these kids haven’t figured that out yet.”
You can’t deny that Allen has a point. The world of celebrity is often without schedule and stability.
But given that she has the sort of life that many normal people could never dream of having, the protestations might ring a little too loudly on the ‘my diamond shoes are too tight’ register.
Fifa should have kept Salt at Bae
I confess I did a full-body cringe when I saw the restaurateur/influencer Salt Bae — he of the ludicrously overpriced steak restaurants — strong-arm his way on to the pitch of the World Cup Final.
As one of the few civilians afforded access to the pitch, Salt Bae was seen pestering the winning team for selfies, grabbing at the World Cup trophy and, for shame, appearing to use his signature move by theatrically sprinkling salt on the cup.
Instead of seeing a successful, cosmopolitan man, I saw a pathetic, needy grifter willing to stoop to any level to get his Insta-moment.
Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.