6.2. This Barbie is Satirical

Jo and Adam take a deep dive into the film everyone is [being compelled to keep] talking about: Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. Is it a satire, and if so, what are the its targets? Can you really critique the relationship between systemic capitalist patriarchy, gender stereotypes and artificial manifestations of female emancipation in a film which is itself a vast corporate endeavour designed to ensure everyone keeps buying and celebrating Barbies? What does it mean for a film literally made by Mattel to explicitly critique Mattel for encouraging children to fetishise consumerism, whilst also being released as part of the biggest film marketing campaign in recent cinema history? And does any of this enhance or diminish the film’s satirical bite? Certainly there’s lots to talk about, alongside Jo and Adam’s own toy-related memories and a disturbing experiment with the “BAIrbie” A. I. Engine. Contains massive spoilers.

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