radical love letter | on Barbie
“ I would rather have a babe with a rack so big she would fall over if she were a human who is known for her ability to defend herself from bullshit men as she hustled in the underground economy, than a human-proportion Barbie in a suit who is the CEO of a corporation.” 💗💕👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
LOVE this so much!!! I’m so confused all the time by the notion that hyper-femininity is rewarded... I have not lived in that world!
Also! Think you would have fun with the role Jenna Lyons is playing on Real Housewives of New York... First queer housewife, I think, and speaks about dressing for men versus not.
You really got me with this: "(On the note of connection, there is a really adorable tender thing that queer femmes share — when we greet each other (on text or email or in person) we say: “Hi femme.” (Some butches greet us this way too <3). It’s a form of in-group interpellation that never fails to make my heart a little glowy. The chorus of “Hi Barbie” all around me feels similar, and I am just relishing in it!)"
Getting to this one pretty late but I really really enjoyed this. You put words to the frustration I was feeling surrounding Barbie and all the controversy. Thank you!!! 💖
"Barbie is not radical, but we get to talk about the shortcomings of its asserted politics, and to do so we get to watch Barbie! I do not turn to the movies for revolutionary guidance; I turn to the movies for pleasure (entirely valuable on its own) and, sometimes, the opportunity to engage in thought, collectively, on how we could dream bigger than the visions allowed on our screens." VERY MUCH AGREE! Also I wish I could've been your student lol
I think you really misinterpret what Defino is saying. She’s not saying that dressing like Barbie/Elle Woods is rewarded - it’s what you pointed to...white, thin, blonde (conventional beauty). The Barbie aesthetic is a white supremacist aesthetic. No one is suggesting that wearing a bikini to work is what’s promoted by our society. It’s having the goal be to look like Margot Robbie. But I do think wearing heels, tight pencil skirts, shaving your legs, doing your hair and makeup are all part of the baseline standard of beauty Defino refers to.
Hi femme! 😋 Thank you as always for your writing magic 💕✨. I love the way you discuss how queer femmes in academia are told to tone it down for the sake of the profession. Once in college the school’s highest paid professor (you can guess his social identities & investments) told me I was “too pretty” (i.e., too not into shopping at Talbots) to be taken seriously as a Rhodes candidate, so he offered me unsolicited sartorial advice that continued to haunt me throughout graduate school when I too bought a sale pantsuit at Express 🤭 after being told that pairing it with my platform Doc Martens would end my career 🙄😹 #hardfemmeproblems
“Hi femme.” has got me in all the fuzzy feelings <3 (hi femme!)
I’ve really connected with a lot of the critiques I’ve read of Barbie and was planning to hold off on the film because of them...but as a high femme bi myself, they always rang a little...off key? Reading this puts words to why. Still thinking on it, but the nuance of this argument is VERY MUCH appreciated!!!
I enjoyed the movie but I kept wondering what Mattel’s play is since they obviously approved use of their property for all sorts of subtle and strong statements, many of which weren’t exactly positive of their product. I’m not mad, but it does seem like a rebrand effort. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I just listened to a podcast episode about Barbie and her controversies and really enjoyed it! The host doesn’t go as in depth with the Marxist critiques but presents a pretty compelling defense of Barbie and how a lot of the opposition is wrapped up in femme phobia. Podcast is called American Hysteria and BJ Colangelo is the guest!