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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State women reflect on “Barbie” movie

Afaaf Alnahas

The “Barbie” movie has collected attention across the globe and the discussions across campus reveal the movie has had a cultural impact on students. As an increase of new introspection and reflection continue to emerge, there’s a surge of unity sparking among Texas State organizations.

Warner Bros.’ highest grossing domestic film “Barbie” has sparked conversations at Texas State after hitting theaters July 21. The film, directed by Greta Gerwig and produced by Margot Robbie, broke several box office records, having the biggest opening day of 2023. 

Texas State Darlings Treasurer Jocelyn Maldonado, a pre-nursing junior, is a first generation college student and said she didn’t grow up seeing the women in her life being able to go to college. 

Reflecting on having played with Barbies as a kid, Maldonado said the movie made her realize, to her, “Barbie” applied to a bigger message of what is possible for women.

“I was scared to go off to college because nobody else had done it,” Maldonado said. “But even watching a movie where they do have a doctor Barbie, a lawyer Barbie… you see these women as these empowerment roles because it’s not something that I saw a lot growing up, and just having these Barbies that I used to play with as a little girl really struck me.”

Besides the movie having different Barbie characters with various occupations, the movie highlighted society’s physical expectations of women.

Texas State Darlings Philanthropy Chair Kiara Hunter, a health science senior, said that one part of the movie that stuck out to her was the discussion about the pressure on women to uphold unrealistic body standards.

“I say it from being a woman and from being a Black woman, I feel like you’re told to look like this certain type of image that America puts you at,” Hunter said. “I really think the Barbie movie just enhanced how strong women are in all ways, shapes and sizes.”

Sasha Montee, a business management senior and member of Alpha Xi Delta, said that she hopes the movie gives insight to women about not competing with one another, but wanting the best for each other. Montee said every girl is going through their own problems and that people never know what’s going on behind the scenes.

“I’m part of a sorority and I feel like being part of a sisterhood is really important,” Montee said. “I feel like every woman is beautiful in their own way and it’s not a competition.”

One key plot point of the movie includes Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, realizing she lives in a fictional reality, and having to visit the “real world” as it’s called in the story. The contrast of the treatment of women in each reality has been a central point of discussion among viewers. 

Texas State Sirens President Ashlin Brown, a communication design sophomore, said that the awareness the movie has brought about has been unifying women everywhere, including on campus.

“I think that’s even impacted the community here at Texas State,” Brown said. “Like even within Sirens, we’ve seen so much more collaboration.”

Brown said that she thinks the movie has highlighted the foundational systems that can make women compete with one another. 

“I think that the movie helped us realize that we’re only competing because of this male-dominated industry that’s telling us that we need to be one thing or the other, and that we have value based on certain aspects of ourselves,” Brown said. “And I think that’s played into a lot of women’s self-perceptions. But we can all be different, and we’re all equally valuable.”

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