Hi Barbie

By Ana Hurtado on August 2, 2023

I am not going to say anything new that others have not said before and I have referred to read people who have left an immense legacy in the thought of history. Therefore, in this opinion column, most of the ideas raised and exposed -with my contribution- are not new, but there are many who have been talking about them for decades.

In the last few days we have witnessed the “Barbie phenomenon”. Hundreds and thousands of movie theaters around the world have premiered the latest Hollywood super production that may have already exceeded 1,000 million euros at the box office worldwide. We warn of all kinds of criticism of the film, from the most stale of the right to the most liberal of the left. The former say it is an attack on men, while the latter say it is an empowerment of women. The most reactionary conservatives in the United States have labeled it as Chinese communist garbage, the modern left accuses with their hand on their chest that there is a right-wing hate train against the film.

But, leaving aside the surface and delving into what this market product truly represents: what does Barbie really mean?

I was surprised when I went into Google to read the movie reviews to find an entire page was tinged with pink. It seemed that instead of looking for movie reviews I was looking to buy the latest release of the moment. Marketing in the truest sense of the word. Then I went on social networks to observe the reactions that the phenomenon had awakened and still awakens in the masses: they all want to look like Barbie. They go to the movies in what I consider ridiculous outfits and are part of an alienation that I could say is worrisome.

This film is permeated by the dominant ideology. It presents the protagonist as a strong woman who empowers herself, but if we look closely, in the end all that is being intended is to perpetuate the class system.

We are more than tired of the myth of success.  That one that says thanks to effort and sacrifice in the capitalist system you will succeed.  This is a lie. It is an aberration that denies the class struggle. No woman who is born in the deepest poverty will become president of a company no matter how much she sacrifices in the Western world if her father or mother does not have an account with several figures.

Is Barbie nothing but a tool of ideological reproduction of the prevailing system?

Ana Hurtado, photo: Bill Hackwell

It is sad this simplification of women’s struggle to something so reductionist. Feminism is not pink. It has a wide range of shades, as much as skin color. This brushstroke product of capitalism certainly does not reflect the real world we inhabit. But rather it is a hodgepodge of bourgeois ideas poorly stitched together to make us feel empowered, unaware that we are victims of an alarming alienation.

I wrote something on Twitter about it and a user answered me with great accuracy about the movie that I dare to quote:

“Hollywood canons, standard bearers of colonization and cultural identity must be dismantled from the identity and reality. Culture cannot be the patrimony of the elites who seek to impose it, but the sword and shield of nations”.


From my point of view, feminism with a bourgeois tinge is nothing more than a tool of capitalism to continue promoting inequality among human beings. What would a struggling woman from New York who has to feed three children, or a woman from the Cañada Real in Madrid who has been without lights for three years, think about going to see Barbie dressed in pink? These women only want to be told about social and human rights, about labor improvements, about respect.

That is what all women want, not just a few. That’s why they try to colonize minds. So that we forget what the problem really is.

Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) warned about this a long time ago. He told us that identities are lost. He spoke of the subtle metamorphoses of fascism that never tires of highlighting the homogenization of consumer society as a subtle, repressive and totalitarian action.

What is Barbie if not, as Pasolini would say, an ideology of consumerist hedonism? Which, in his words, gives rise to selfishness, pseudo culture, conformism and false tolerance.

And there is nothing more comfortable and pleasing to the capitalist regime than the intolerant or false tolerant.

I think that’s enough.

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English