Barbie: Hilarious fun with a message, or confused feminism with some jokes?

BARBIE was amazing, perhaps not to actually watch for two hours, but as a phenomenon. But now the dust has settled, it’s definitely got problems you don’t have to be a bitter misogynist to notice.

Christ, not more ‘strong female role models’

In Barbieland, Kens are beach bums while Barbies do all the prestigious jobs: doctor, lawyer, politician. (Note the filmmakers’ incredibly conventional view of which jobs are worthwhile.) But how many role models do women need at this stage? Did they not see Captain Marvel, Mulan, Peter Pan & Wendy and everything Disney has made recently? Pay attention and become fighter pilots instead of meek little housewives, ladies.

Ignoring your own rules  

Barbie’s existential crisis is caused by her owner’s middle-aged mum playing with her real-world counterpart in a negative, regretful frame of mind. It’s unclear why Greta Gerwig bothers with this needlessly complicated mechanic in a lighthearted fantasy film. And surely most Barbies end up in landfill or boxes in lofts, meaning that Barbieland would actually be full of creepy unconscious Barbies, like something out of Coma?

The systematic oppression of Kens

At one point the Barbies take back control of Barbieland and return Kens to being second-class citizens. There’s a word for this: apartheid. It’s lucky the Kens capitulated, or the Barbies might have got out the sjamboks and CS gas.

The dire Hollywood low-brow humour bits

Barbie includes a lengthy chase scene through Mattel’s headquarters, involving the childish board of directors led by Will Ferrell. MRAs and incels interpreted these dipshit characters as a dig at men in general, but a more likely explanation is that after years of braindead comedies Hollywood thinks mugging actors doing CRAZY SHIT is inherently funny. It’s not, and Tinseltown types who think this should have the DVD of Meet the Spartans rammed up their arse as a learning experience.

The gynaecologist scene

So Barbie’s biggest achievement is having a vagina? No, that can’t be right. It must be a triumphant moment where Barbie becomes her true, strong, empowered female self. Well done Barbie for, er, going to the doctor’s.

Did Barbie just luck out?

It seems likely that Barbie, with the help of some questionable marketing, managed to appeal to loads of demographics, including some of the lesser-known ones like ‘Boyfriends who fancy Margot Robbie and thought there’d be enough jokes in it’. Sorry, that’s heresy. Barbie was completely amazing in every respect and the marketing budget of $150 million, one of the biggest in film history, had nothing to do with it.

Well, that was all a bit of an anticlimax

At the end, Barbie is presented with a classic dilemma – should she stay in the safety of Barbieland or fulfil her potential in the perilous human world? Rather than this being a great dramatic moment Barbie just says her goodbyes and heads off. It’s as if the Little Mermaid casually turned around and said: ‘Yeah well, being a mermaid wasn’t all that anyway. Laters.’

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This week in Mash history: The Virgin Mary comes up with a cover story quick, 1BC

EVERY December, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of a baby who invented Christmas presents and made sure nothing bad would happen again, ever.

But did you know the magic tot’s origins were not due to a miraculous plan, but a teen mum’s genius excuse when put on the spot? 

Until now, no one has ever doubted Mary’s account that she was literally a virgin impregnated by a divine spirit, but new evidence is making experts think having a baby may require sex to take place.

In a previously disregarded Gospel draft, known as ‘Luke’s Rough Version’, Mary is praised for her ability to ‘think on her feet’ despite the fact that ‘no one thought Joseph would fall for that’. This is what it says:

“And lo, in Nazareth there was a young woman whose name was Mary, who let out a terrible oath when she realised her Holy blob was late. 

“For Mary was espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, who was dim of brain and personality, but did maketh plenty of shekels from his woodworking business.

“And Joseph came unto his betrothed and said: ‘Hail Mary, how hast thou missed thy blob when we have only done but some kissing and hand stuff?’ And Mary, filled with immaculate cockiness, joked unto Joseph: ‘I am surely still the Virgin Mary, even though I have no blob and am up the sacred duff.’ 

“And Mary marvelled, for though she knew Joseph to be thick of head, she had not expected him to believe this porkie.

“But Mary did runneth with it, and told of a ‘Gabriel’ who was an angel that delivered unto her the Good News, who was in no way the same Gabriel who worked on Jerusalem market and spilt his seed with many ladies.

“And God in heaven did witness Holy Mary’s impressive shit-chatting, and rewarded her with a baby with cool powers, and the honour of being made into statues displayed in grandmothers’ houses forever and ever. Amen.”

And that is how Our Lady attained supreme sainthood for winging it successfully, joining other sacred figures like John the Baptist, patron saint of swimming lessons, and Saint Patrick, patron saint of stag weekends.

Next week: To 1773, when Charles Dickens realised the best way to sell shitloads of books is to make them Christmassy.