The movie "Barbie" has not been released yet, but it has already conquered social networks. Why?

Since the beginning of April, details of the upcoming film "Barbie" have been actively discussed on social networks and memes have been created related to the film, despite the fact that the world premiere is still a month away. This is not the first film that has become a global trend long before its release, for example, "House of Gucci" with Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, released in November 2021, was being discussed as early as March of that year when the first photos from the set appeared online. "Barbie", however, has won viewers over with its colorful trailers and the film's selfie generator launched in the first days of Twitter's existence. By the way, about the trailers: the film's artistic director Sarah Greenwood said that the shooting caused a world shortage of this color - which is not surprising, given the degree of pinkness of the picture.

At the same time, practically nothing is known about the plot of the film, so fans and journalists have to guess, catching details from the trailers. According to Vogue, the film will focus on "a doll living in Barbie country who is forced to leave it due to some of her imperfections and embark on a journey in the real world, discovering along the way that perfection can only be found within oneself." Deadline wrote that an early version of the film was a story in which Barbie is expelled from Barbie country because she is not perfect enough, a little eccentric, and does not fit into the surrounding world. Then she goes on an adventure into the real world, and upon her return, realizes that perfection comes from within and that the key to happiness is the belief in oneself, free from the obligation to adhere to any unattainable standard of perfection.

Barbie selfie

The film's marketing team launched the first global trend associated with the film. To celebrate the release of the trailer, which features all the dolls calling each other Barbie, a selfie generator was posted on Twitter, allowing everyone to become part of the magical country. On the site, you need to upload your photo and get a poster with a cartoonish outline and a caption about which Barbie you are. The generator immediately went viral, with social media users bringing not only themselves but also their pets, singers Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift, the Kardashian family, and characters from other fictional universes to the land of Barbie.

Social media users also noticed the slogan on one of the posters, which reads "She is everything, and he is just Ken." In the context of the film, it emphasizes the key role of Barbie - the star of the doll world who has tried hundreds of professions, lives in her own house, whereas Ken is just her surfer boyfriend. The phrase quickly spread on social media and was used to accompany photos of celebrity or cartoon couples where women achieve more success than their partners. For example, a collage with photos of Shakira and Gerard Pique was published with this very caption. The latter was not liked in social media after the singer released a diss, criticizing her former husband who cheated on her.

Barbie and Ken

The film also inspired a series of "Two Tickets to Barbie" memes where the caption accompanies an image that, in the author's opinion, represents potential viewers of the film. Of course, the irony is that the characters in the photo have nothing in common with the film's audience. But in the case of Barbie, the traditionally girl doll, those who wanted to see it were really of different genders and ages. Similarly, the phrase "We are going to Barbie with the guys" is used to joke about the film's viewers. And a year earlier, a wave of similar memes was caused by the cartoon "Minions: Gravity". At that time, viewers of the typically children's movie were ironically portrayed as men in business suits.

Another wave of memes was caused by the news that in several countries, the premiere of "Barbie" will be on July 21, the same day Christopher Nolan's new film "Oppenheimer" is released. For film fans, the events turned out to be comparable in size, but opposite in atmosphere. If "Barbie" is expected to be a witty comedy, then "Oppenheimer" is presented as a more serious and heavy film dedicated to the life of American physicist Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the first nuclear weapons development. Such a difference formed the basis for many jokes about what aesthetics to choose on the day of the premieres and which film to go to first.

Why are people still talking about Barbie on social media?

There are several reasons for the incredible virality of "Barbie." Firstly, it's all about the cast. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling played the lead roles in the film, with interviews and movies featuring them spawning memes for years. Gosling pronounced the phrase "hey girl" on MTV in 2010, which still accompanies many of his photos in an ironic way today. His roles in the films "Drive" and "Blade Runner 2049" also spawned a series of classic memes. Margot Robbie, on the other hand, is remembered by the internet for her roles as Harley Quinn, in the film "The Wolf of Wall Street," and in a cameo in "The Big Short." So, as expected, the duo of actors became the reason for new jokes.

In addition, interest in the film is also fueled by ironic interviews with the actors, excerpts from which collect hundreds of thousands of views in TikTok and Reels. "However you imagine the film, you're definitely wrong," Robbie described the movie. "I would never dream of correcting Barbie. Everything Barbie says is right. The movie is not as you imagine it... except when it is. Then you'll definitely understand. But I don't think it's what you imagine it to be..." Gosling echoed her words.

The actor also spoke in more detail about his character: "Ken has no money, no job, no car, no home... he's definitely going through tough times." At the "Barbie" panel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, he said he "doubted his Ken-ergy" and "couldn't find it in himself." Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig helped him transform into a plastic doll. He appears in the frame with light blond hair, ultra-bronze skin, and a chiseled abs. "I was just living, and in the next moment, I was already bleaching my hair, shaving my legs, and roller-skating on Venice Beach," Gosling joked.

Barbie is the main bimbo of the new era

The release of "Barbie" came at a time when there was a renaissance of 2000s culture and a re-evaluation of trends and phenomena from that era. For example, the word "bimbo" in the 2000s was used as an insult to describe a stereotypical attractive but dumb girl due to her appearance. Many successful women in show business of that time, such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsey Lohan, were often referred to as "bimbos". Even Barbie wasn't immune: in 2002, doll manufacturer Mattel sued the Dutch group Aqua because the musicians had portrayed the doll as an airheaded bimbo in their songs. This stereotype was reflected in the film "Legally Blonde", in which the main character was thought of condescendingly because of her love of pink and bright accessories. But in the end, the movie debunked this notion: Elle Woods goes to Harvard Law School, succeeds, and dumps the guy who thought she was "too blonde".

In 2021, the insult was reclaimed and the word became the name of an aesthetic and an ironic trend, within which influencers reclaimed their right to be attractive, smart, and successful at the same time.

Trailers and promotional materials clearly indicate that Barbie in the new movie will not only be attractive but also a successful and respected doll - a "bimbo" of the new era. And users like it.

We can all be Barbie

Barbie is one of the most popular toys that has been a role model for many girls, defining what a woman should look like. From the very beginning, Mattel faced a huge demand for Barbie in all careers, sizes, and various shades of skin. Mattel began selling dolls with dark skin in the 1960s, but they were all "Barbie's friends." At the same time, girls who were not born with light skin did not want to accept a secondary role. It was not until the 1980s that American public organizations succeeded in releasing the main heroine of the country, Barbie, with different skin tones. Now, at Mattel, you can find a doll that any girl can identify with. Moreover, the line continues to expand.

The inclusive approach was evident from the movie trailer. The inhabitants of a magical country are all called Barbie, regardless of skin color, size, or ethnicity. Based on the plot details described in the media, the movie is about the search for perfection, leading to a relevant discussion about beauty standards, body positivity, and human body diversity.