Have you seen the Barbie movie yet? I’ve seen it a few times now, and each time, I’ve gone with someone new. It brought up so much conversation within my circle of friends, my family, my chiropractor, my colleagues, and even the Starbucks employee making my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. (Hello, Fall!) But seriously, the Barbie movie was fantastic, and spoke to so many women, including me. I felt seen. I felt heard. I found myself in moments of laughter, remembering playing with the many barbies that I had as a child, make believing story lines. I also found myself silently sobbing and wiping away tears as Barbie goes into the real world and discovers that women are not in power. In fact, Barbie realizes that all the people in charge of Mattel, the power company behind Barbie, are men. I sobbed when this all made Barbie sad. She discovered anxiety, depression, sadness, and feeling belittled and small, things that I’ve struggled with in the past.
Barbie felt such anxiety and depression in the way women are treated by men, the media, and simply even the way the culture is not set up for women to have freedom. This past Sunday, I was a guest preacher at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church to promote Nourished and our work in healing religious trauma. As I preached about nonconforming to this world, I shared my own personal story in navigating the media, the voices of men, and the culture of the world telling me I should be someone I’m not. I silently struggled with an eating disorder for so long and once receiving help and therapy 6 years ago, you would never believe the amount of people my story has touched. Again, this Sunday, countless people came up to me afterwards to say they have family that has struggled with disordered eating. or they themselves. So many people struggle with what Barbie encounters in the real world, which is why I think the movie touched so many of us.
In a scene in the movie, Barbie is talking with the woman who created her. This Barbie is stereotypical Barbie. She doesn’t have a set job or role like the other Barbies do. In the background of the scene are these haunting words from artist Billie Eilish, “What was I made for…’Cause I, I don’t know how to feel, but I wanna try. I don’t know how to feel, but someday I might.” Barbie is made to be Barbie, and Ken is made to be Ken. And you….you are made in God’s image. You are made to be you. There is no one like you, so be you. The world needs more of you.
So if you haven’t watched Barbie yet, or if you have, and want space to process it and talk about it, join Nourished in September as we dive into the Barbie World! Saturday, September 9th, we’ll watch the movie together at my house from 7pm-9pm and hold conversation in our series, “Nourished in a Barbie World” on September 11th and September 25th from 7pm-8:30pm, both nights at my house.