An increasingly detailed and unhinged list of Barbie (2023) predictions

by Michelle Chandra

Just a disclaimer; not all of these are entirely my own original ideas. Some of the predictions are a cumulation of ideas circulating our big, wide internet and I filtered out some of my favourite ones and explored them more(ish) in-depth.

1. Our favourite emotional support himbo will undergo a journey through misogyny

This is the most widespread prediction so far as the trailers have shown the transformation of Barbieland into Kendom. Perhaps it will be Simu Liu’s Ken that sparks off the patriarchal revolutions and we will see a cinematic callback to Liu’s tragic (but unsurprising) Reddit MRA era projected on the big screen. 

If it makes anyone feel better, I think Gosling’s Ken will get a redemption arc where he realises that the patriarchy is corrosive to everybody and no one truly and genuinely benefits from it. I don’t think the film bros can handle it but in Gerwig, we trust. 

2. Barbie as a representation of the transformative journey from girlhood to adolescence 

I had a theory that this would be a central theme in the movie following the trailer’s easter egg including the Wizard of Oz. There’s a split-second scene of Barbie driving through Barbieland, with the Wizard of Oz showcased on the cinema letter board and poster frames. I have a feeling that Barbie will follow a similar narrative and theme as The Wizard of Oz but an inverse of that, whereby Barbie leaves the safe, vibrant, yet restrictive Barbieland (representative of Oz and Emerald City in particular) and enters the real world.

We’re going to see her enter reality with her naiveté – an example in the trailers, she has no concept of what sex is – with the quintessential physiognomy of the ‘Blonde bombshell’ and lapse into a disillusionment of womanhood, and the excitement and terror of growing/ experiencing the reality of what it’s really like being in a woman’s body before you’re psychologically ready as a girl. I really think it would be so brilliant to use Barbie as a conduit to explore this idea because our culture and shared consciousness venerates Barbie as ‘perfection’ and the ideal woman, living the perfect life – where even her mouth is literally curved to a perpetual smile because she's perfect and her life is perfect – but she’s not real, she’s completely flanderized within pop culture. She’s not a person or a woman, she’s plastic and untouchable, unbreakable. This idea is then projected and internalised when girls reach that period of adolescence where the interests, hobbies, and overall identities of teen girls are mocked, ridiculed, and not taken seriously. We’re bombarded with a litany of horror stories of sexual assault, domestic violence, revenge porn, and victim blaming. We internalise this fallacy that in order to be believed, respected, or even exist, we must always be perfect which leads to what Rayne Fisher-Quann dubs “a systemic exorcism of any woman too human to be [perfect]”. 

3. A cute little Barbie montage set to the song ‘Perfect Day’

So, as my Barbie obsession took hold of me, I was perusing any and every article that came out as we were nearing the premiere. One thing that stuck with me was the capitalisation of “Perfect Day” in this article.

Am I being a little delusional? Perhaps, but could it be that we get a cute little Barbie montage at the beginning of the film to this iconic song à la Legally Blonde

4. Death, existentialism, and humanity

Okay, I wrote this prediction list way before the main Barbie trailer came out, but I want to discuss the homage to the Dawn of Man sequence from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey which originally explores themes of transhumanism and questions what it is to be human, and how humanity is doomed to corrupt everything around us because of violence and bloodlust.

We see these ideas of existentialism and humanity sprinkled throughout the trailers like Barbie pondering death and Ruth Handler’s epigraph of “Humans have just one ending. Ideas live forever.”

5. Sapphic Barbie representation…? 

The palpable and dramatised moment between America Ferrera and Barbie is less of a prediction and more of wistful thinking and delusion. But on a quick note, Barbie being asexual would be so powerful considering ace representation in media is so scarce and Barbie and Ken have, historically, been lauded as an implicit figure of the perfect hetero couple. How subversive!

6. Our OG girl boss, Ruth Handler (aka the creator of Barbie) will make an appearance in the movie

I’m aware that Handler passed more than a decade ago so even though it’s going to be an actress portraying Handler, it still counts and I’m excited. 

7. Multiple biblical references

Okay, this one’s less of a prediction since the trailers don’t shy away with the biblical allusions and the cast have blatantly spoken about it in multiple interviews. But I’m so obsessed with the way Barbie is embodying religious iconography in the trailers such as walking on water, and the ultimatum between the pink high heel and the brown birkenstock as a callback to the snake and the forbidden fruit in Genesis. There are many references that signal Gerwig’s exploration of the Barbie iconography and lore as an inversion of the Genesis creation myth – I mean the fact that Barbie was the original creation and Ken was created for the sole purpose of being a companion to Barbie; the fact that Barbieland represents the Garden of Eden; and the fact that the Kens are (as I predict) tempted by the idea of patriarchy which represents the forbidden fruit and catalyses Barbieland (representative of humanity’s) chaotic descent. God, I love cinema.  

8. Will Ferrell is planning his own cinematic metacommentary universe à la MCU style

If you’ve watched the Lego Movie then I think this prediction speaks for itself.

9. BCU (Barbie cinematic universe) easter eggs

Multiple rumours and theories have recently sprung up that the film will have a brief Bratz callback after the trailer showed Barbie conversing with four teenage girls, who discussed the irrelevance of the ‘Barbie’ doll which parallels the introduction of the Bratz dolls as a pushback against the anatomically perfect doll and its lacklustre diversity. I personally believe that the four girls reference the iconic, yet often neglected 2005 film My Scene Goes Hollywood which centres on a dynamic friendship group of five girls who closely resemble the Bratz characters.

Michelle studies a Bachelor of Arts/Law. She loves white chocolate, Taylor Swift, and has a penchant towards anything so long as it’s pink! She joined Blitz because who wouldn’t want to be part of an unhinged media community that’s as obsessed with pop culture as she is? Fun fact: She got eras tickets (this is her peak)

Blitz Editor

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