America Ferrera's monologue in the Barbie movie sheds light on the frustrations, helplessness and contradictory expectations that women face in their attempt of fitting into unrealistic standards of society and it resonated with every woman out there. Here's why!
We all have been in situations where we struggle to express how we feel. It almost feels like you have a tumultuous storm inside and you have to keep it there, trapped and hidden. We hide the turmoil inside, putting a brave face on but suppressing emotions doesn't help anyone and we have been doing it for so long that it's become second nature to us. This is something I pondered upon after listening to America Ferrera's monologue in the Barbie movie which she delivers when she finds Margot Robbie's Barbie going through an existential crisis after Kens takes over Barbie Land.
Also Read: Barbie review: What seems like a glamorous pink slumber party on the surface is actually a profound yet comforting watch for everyone!
When Barbie saw Ken turning her dream house into his "Mojo Dojo Casa House", she yelled at him, "But this is my dream house". This left Barbie feeling frustrated and I felt that. Ken could have built his "Mojo Dojo Casa House" anywhere in Barbie Land but he chose the one house that Barbie owned. It reminded me of the moments where I felt that I had been wronged and I didn't know how to 'prove it'. These feelings of powerlessness and low self-esteem take over you and that's what happened with Barbie.
When she was at her lowest, she said "I'm ugly" and "I'm good for nothing" even when whatever happened wasn't actually her fault. Someone out there might be thinking, "What's that overreaction over losing a house or how can losing a dream house make you feel ugly?" Many women out there associate their self-worth with how much they have achieved, how much they know or how much they can do and to Margot Robbie's Barbie, all she had was her confidence which she lost. She wasn't a President, Doctor, Astronaut or Nobel Prize winner, she was just a stereotypical Barbie.
How America Ferrera's monologue makes us think upon the unrealistic standards set by society for women.
Ferrera concludes the monologue by saying, "I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don't even know." Even at the end of the movie, Barbie apologises to Ken. While Ken admits his mistake, he was never seen apologising to Barbie for his rude behaviour or for destroying what she built which speaks a lot about how women think that they are responsible for the feelings of everyone around them. Gloria's monologue touched me, it made me address these feelings of mine that were unspoken and hidden. It made me make sense of my feelings and every woman I have witnessed crying or feeling frustrated over failures. I'm really glad that I saw a character say it out loud, someone who made me understand that it's not my fault and it's definitely not me overreacting to things.
This monologue also made me ponder on my idea of failure where I was left reflecting on my own reactions to setbacks and the pressures placed on me by my cultural background. While failing at something should be considered a natural part of growth and self-discovery, many of us have been associating it with our self-worth. When we acknowledge that it's just impossible to fit in every mould created by society, we're learning to become more comfortable in our skin thanks to monologues like these!
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