Barbie movies and critiques

By Dhiya Damia Zuhairul

Barbie movies are famous worldwide, especially among young girls.

I personally like Barbie since I was a child until now as an adult. As a child, Barbie movies’ storyline and graphics are very eye-catching and I am sure that is why it triggers most young girls to watch them.

Barbie movies are family-friendly movies. Barbie was established at first as a fashion doll made by the American toy company, Mattel Inc.

The first film the company made is “Barbie In The Nutcracker Series” in 2001. However, as I now become an adult, I have seen why some people critiqued Barbie Movies.

Firstly, some people did that because the movies made some people misinterpret the image of what ideal beauty is, physically.

It might be confirmed because the typical Barbie’s female lead character in every movie always has fair skin, blue eyes, blonde hair, pink lips, is skinny, and has ‘pink colour’ authority in every dress that she has.

Compared to the antagonist characters in the Barbie movies, who were usually wearing dark green colour outfit, or have a distinct characteristic physically that we can guess from the beginning that he or she is the antagonist in the movie.

I think why some people criticised Barbie movies is because the movie has set into the mind of young innocent children of what physical feature of a beautiful person looks like.

Although, I did not think it is in full intention that Mattel Inc would want to make the movies controversial because the company’s location was in a western country where most people have fair skin, pink lips, and blonde hair. Yet, this movie does give impacts of negative beauty standards in the Asian country where majority of the people have tanned skin, dark hair, and brown eyes.

Therefore, I think it would be awesome if Mattel Inc widens their cultural perspectives in the Barbie Movies’ characteristic by including many characters who would have tanned skin, curly hair and darker lips as it will change some people’s perspectives about their prejudices on typical beauty standard especially young girls.

Secondly, some people criticised Barbie movies because it always depicts similar characteristics where none of the characteristics of the protagonist is negative and she is confirmed to be happily ever after at the end of the movie, and the antagonist would suffer.

For example, in the Barbie movie “Princess Charm School” which was released in 2011, the female lead protagonist, Blaire, becomes a queen at the end of the story and dances happily with her friends at the end of the movie while her aunt, Dame Devin, the antagonist in this movie, got caught by the guards and suffered in the jail for an attempt to kill Blaire.

It is undeniable that the movie taught us moral values that we indeed have to pay the price if we do evil. But, it is unrealistic to say that in the real world bad people always do bad things until they get caught.

In our world, there are always times that we do evil because it is our fitrah.

Sometimes, even if we do good, it does not mean we are authorised to claim that good things must come to us because we do good deeds. There are times we get more challenges from God to test whether our intentions are truthful. Plus, these movies portray that people who do immoral things will get to be punished.

However, in the real world, sadly, some human beings are too intelligent to not get caught for doing illegal things and they still live happily.

Therefore, I think Barbie movies should change the ‘typical plot’ of happy ending of the antagonist to make the movies relevant to the contemporary world nowadays.***

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