How have these viewing experiences impacted your life, for better or worse? Adeola: Growing up, most of the movies targeted towards young girls featured a female character as either a love interest or a princess. While many Barbie movies end with her getting married to Ken or some random guy, getting married or falling in love wasn’t her end goal. Love was just something she found along the way to what she really wanted. Barbie movies helped me to grow up valuing myself and my different friendships over a romantic relationship, because at the end of the day, “She’s everything, and he’s just Ken.”
Sydney: Everyone knows me as “the Barbie Girl”, a name I’m quite honored to have! The films still teach me lessons at my eighteen years of age—ones of courage, kindness and teamwork—and each film does it in a unique way. That is why they’re so dear to me.
Cherry: It’s strange that Barbie has given me so much comfort, confidence and security, yet also played a part in my insecurities—and confusion, perhaps. Even though the doll’s history has many, many issues, the point of Barbie was always to show the audience that you can be anything; you can be brave and kind and strong and smart just like Barbie, and still wear a ball gown or a pair of jeans or a crown and kick ass.
Zara: The wonderful friendships I’ve found through a shared interest in Barbie and somehow, subtle notoriety I’ve gained from it on Letterboxd?! I very rarely check my Letterboxd notifications but sometimes, particularly if I’ve written some all-lower-case, thousand-word ramblings, I am always surprised and touched by a couple of positive comments I see, usually a week later. It’s a weird feeling to know that people read, and I suppose, care about my thoughts on what is essentially clever marketing for a children’s toy, but it’s heart-warming and makes me feel better about my own love for them.
Richard: If you had asked me at the time, while watching them over the course of a month and a bit, I would’ve said that it was ruining my life. Now I think it’s the most interesting thing about me. I love meeting people who grew up with the movies and connecting over knowledge of the franchise, who are often bewildered that a 30-year-old man is sharing this interest.