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Did Your Imagination Sparkle this Summer?

I know my Imagination Sparkled with the Barbie phenomenon especially after I first saw the trailer and I was less than impressed. And, I honestly wanted to hate it. I couldn’t understand why Ryan Gosling would choose to play Ken – until the reviews started coming in and some of the people I admired were making posts about it. I still thought it was a children’s movie – until I realized it wasn’t and that it offered a Powerful Message of Empowerment to women of all ages, sexual orientation, race and size.

Maybe ‘sparkled’ wasn’t what I would use for the message but the JOY I received every time the Sparkles appeared when, anything or anyone related to the movie was searched, made me smile!

I decided not to write about Ken (or Allan for that matter) only because I feel that this movie has a powerful message for Women. Ken’s role was instrumental and allowed the message to be so much more powerful. The Ken(s) played their role perfectly.

So what did the movie do for me? What was the Powerful Message I received from the movie?

When Barbie believed that the message all girls and women should have received…

Barbie felt something was off and Weird Barbie, played by Kate McKinnon, advises Barbie that it is due to a child becoming disillusioned by Barbie. She explains how she can go to the real world and help this young girl. To Barbie this was going to be easy as she felt all girls could see the possibilities that Barbie represented.

Barbie, the doll, has depicted all the potential it means to be a woman. As early as 1965 there was an astronaut Barbie  and a space scientist Barbie. Barbie has been a teacher, veterinarian, member of the armed forces, business executive, doctor, president, police officer, computer engineer, architect, paleontologist, judge and many more – over 200 roles according to the manufacturer, Mattel. The Barbie doll line has evolved over the years to be culturally diverse, body image diverse, and has included women with disabilities. The Barbie doll realm is inclusive.

Barbie was meant to inspire young girls to BEcome anything they wanted. However, that message has NOT been received by most – even those of us who were exposed to Barbie in our childhoods. I doubt I ever thought of the different Barbies as I played with my Barbie Van. Instead, I focused on the relationships that could happen between Ken or GI Joe. Possibilities were where we could go in our Camper Van. I missed her message entirely.

Barbie feeling Ugly and having an existential crisis, was a powerful metaphor of what women go through. I however, agreed with Helen Mirren’s interruption claiming: Note to the filmmakers: Margot Robbie is the wrong person to cast if you want to make this point.

The spectacular monologue from America Ferrera’s (ironically, actress from the TV series “Ugly Betty”) Gloria, in which she outlines the ridiculous expectations placed upon women…

It is literally impossible to be a woman,” Gloria says.

“You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough… 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 a woman, then I don’t even know.”

How Powerful is that? We as women (and many men) feel like we are NOT enough. We feel that we aren’t pretty enough, small enough, strong enough, smart enough. We feel the push to BE Better. We have self-esteem issues. We have tried to fit into a role that we Believe is what others want. All because we perceive that we aren’t Enough as we are.

We ARE Enough! We are perfect, but maybe not plastic perfect. We don’t need to pretend to be someone else. We ARE who we are!

Take my Hands… Close your Eyes… now Feel:

This is probably the most impactful message, delivered by Rhea Perlman as Ruth Handler the creator of Barbie. Ruth asks Barbie to close her eyes and Barbie sees the entire splendor of being a woman play out before her.

An old home movie plays of mothers and daughters growing up together. It blends into scenes of young girls blowing out birthday candles. It shows teenagers graduating from high school and becoming young women. They get married and they frolic through life with their own daughters, mothers, and friends at their side – well into old age.

To me the message was compelling in different ways.

‘Take my Hands’: This means to share your energy with other women so that we can come together to bolster, not dominate or oppress others. By holding hands with other women we can Change the World – together.

‘Close your Eyes’: This is a way to center yourself. To connect with your own Source and to connect with others who are ready to support and nourish us to BE all that we can BE. Closing your Eyes is to assist us to form a connection Heart to Heart.

‘Now Feel’: This is the one thing that Barbie hadn’t been able to do in Barbieland. She was unobservant to Ken and his needs. She lacked compassion. Until she was in the Real World, she only saw the perfection of Barbieland (except for Weird Barbie).

‘Now Feel’ is an example of what we are taught as young girls. But ‘feeling’ is often to our detriment. Feeling has often been associated with pain, disappointment… basically our Fears. Yet for Barbie, who wanted to BE a Real Woman, she was able to Feel and have compassion for the first time.

‘Now Feel’ is important for all of us. Feeling is filled with so much emotion. Feeling is authentic and can be filled with Fear or Love. It is important that we BE Authentic – no matter how we feel. We need to Accept that our Feelings are important for our Spiritual Growth and NOT to be avoided. Avoidance isn’t something we should do any longer. Let’s BE Real and Feel.

I was surprised by this Movie. I didn’t expect the Powerful Messages that were meant to Empower us as Women. Even after reading numerous reviews I wasn’t expecting the impact it would make.

I didn’t cry, like a lot of women posted. My Heart Opened to Receive the Heart-Breaking pain in the role reversal of the Kens BEing second-class citizens who rely entirely on being noticed by Barbie in order to feel any self-worth. My Heart Opened when Barbie had her Ugly Crisis and Gloria (America Ferrera) poured her Heart out about how women are often left to feel unworthy.

The movie touched me on the NEED to Create Connections with other Women to Uplift and Empower them. Bullying has become so prevalent in our society; the Mean Girls tear us down instead of Lifting us UP.

It is Time for a Change. Men and Women need to BE more Authentic and STOP judging others, because we feel jealous or NOT enough. We all NEED to FEEL! Regardless of what that feeling is, it will help us understand who we are and who we want to BEcome. Authentic. Real. LOVING. COMPASSIONATE.

It is time to Sparkle. Whoever we are, we ARE Enough. We are Perfect. We are Growing UP. If you haven’t seen the movie, go with friends, share the moment. I invite you to Open Your Hearts and FEEL. How do You want to Show up to this World? BE that! With Love and an Open Heart, Laurie ❤️

PS: if you didn’t read my Summer Blog… Go HERE