Is Barbie a Feminist Manifesto?

Simu Liu recently sat down with ScreenRant’s Joe Deckelmeier and the subject of Barbie came up. When asked about his relationship with Barbie prior to working on the film, Liu had this to say:

“I didn’t really have a relationship with Barbie in the past. I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a society where traditional gender norms were pretty heavily enforced and were pretty prevalent, and so I think we, maybe you, were taught from a very young age, ‘Boys don’t play with that. Boys don’t wear pink.’ You know, colors became gendered, toys became gendered, there were all these rules that were imposed on us. So Barbie was always like, ‘Oh that’s not my toy. That’s on the other team.’ And I’m so glad that this movie exists because I think it puts the final nail in the coffin of that very heteronormative idea of what gender is, and what is or is not gendered. How can you make a color gendered, you know?”

I’m hoping this is another case of actors making a movie political when that isn’t the artistic intent. It’s also possible that this is merely how the movie made Liu feel as a performer. Personally, I’m really excited for this movie based on the posters and trailers, but I get nervous when actors say things like this. It’s not even that I disagree; I played with Barbie as a kid, but I also liked army men, dinosaurs, and I had every toy from Toy Story. I think kids should be able to play with and wear whatever they want, as long as they’re not hurting anyone. But I want to have fun with this movie. I love Barbie, and I’m excited for a big-screen adaptation.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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