The title of this piece is “The Barbie Movie Controversy.” This is Kenjuan Congo Jr. calling from a prison camp behind enemy lines.
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the Barbie movie. Some say it’s political, others say it’s just a movie. I’m planning to present both perspectives.
We do live in a society where women are told to measure their social worth, by their beauty. The cosmetic industry exclusively targets women, the diet industry targets women, and the list goes on. It’s to the extent that billions and billions are spent in the pursuit of physical appearance. But this manipulation, that’s an unattainable standard for the overwhelming majority of women.
For example, the females that’s in the X-rated magazine, or the 100-pound runway model, or feminine character on a television show, they’re supposed to have a certain type of skin tone, hair, a certain type of eyes, a particular height and weight. Ultimately, this makes the billions and billions spent on a quest for beauty, a self-defeating pursuit.
And it doesn’t stop there. Women are then told to prize relationships with men, whom they’re supposed attract with their physical appearance. And they should be attuned and responsive to men. And this beauty-minded woman tries to please men and avoid challenging male power.
Then society turns to men, who are taught to possess women who embody beauty. So this concept of beauty reduces women objects, and motivates men to possess them, as if they were some sort of Barbie doll rather than an actual human being. The idea of beauty is as much about behavior, as it is appearance. Society teaches both genders to embrace specific roles and attitudes that place them in a social hierarchy.
It is argued that the Barbie movie subliminally legitimizes this social arrangement. On other hand, there are those who just want to watch a movie. It’s not their attempt to objectify or oppress women. They just want to relax and have a little bit of entertainment.
But why can’t we do both? Why can’t we just watch a film that does not promote social inequality? Write, direct, and produce our own movies that project a collective definition of beauty and gender in an entertainment way? Since we all want the same thing, it only makes sense for us to work together. We should define and project our own definitions and images. This is a solution that benefits us all.
This is Kenjuan Congo Jr. calling from a prison camp, behind enemy lines. Thank you. All power to the people.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.