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Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

‘It is literally impossible to be a woman’ Barbie snubbed for Oscar nominations

“There is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally celebrated film,” said Ryan Gosling after the release of this year’s Oscar nominations. The lead actress and female director of Barbie did not get nominated for their respective awards.

The movie transcended boundaries previously set by exposing the reality of being a woman. It was also directed by a woman. The movie demonstrated how females feel the need to be perfect for society and reflected the difficulties that women encounter in the face of patriarchy.

The movie was funny, emotional and a masterpiece that revealed the hard truths of being a woman. Yet, the women involved received little recognition for their work. What is this showing girls around the world?

Gerwig, director of Barbie, discussed the emotional meaning behind the film, despite its focus on a childhood toy. She said, in an interview with wbur, a Boston public radio station, “I want the movie to make people feel somewhat relieved of the tightrope…this impossible tightrope of being perfect.”

Her focus was to remind everyone, especially women, that it’s okay to just be yourself. However, the Academy didn’t think this message or execution of this message was Oscar-worthy.

Lead actress Robbie, who played Barbie, did not receive a nomination for best lead actress. In addition, Gerwig did not receive a nomination for best director. To make matters worse, Gosling, who played Ken, received a nomination for best supporting actor, which shows that the men involved in the film were more recognized than the women.

America Ferrera, who played Gloria in the film, was nominated for best actress in a supporting role. The Academy gave a small recognition to some of the women involved, but this isn’t enough: the two main women involved went unrecognized.

Lisa Coulthard, a professor of cinema and media studies at the University of British Columbia, said, “Barbie is the kind of movie often snubbed as not ‘serious’ enough for the Oscars. But the way ‘serious’ is determined is highly gendered and this, I think, is a major example of that.”

According to, as of 2023, 67 percent of the Academy members are men. This means that these nominations are determined by a mostly male voice, leading to yet another example of patriarchy.

Gerwig targeted the patriarchy and made a movie to fight against it, but the patriarchy penalized her for it. A woman can do everything right and somehow the patriarchy will find something wrong.

It’s as if the entire plot was lost. Ken receiving a nomination and Barbie not is a demonstration of how the theme of the movie gets lost in the real world. Either the message was lost, or the patriarchy felt threatened. The movie showed girls that they can fight against the stereotypes set for them. But these nominations destroyed that. To me, this showed that, no matter what we, as women do, we’ll never beat the patriarchy. It demonstrated that I may never escape the stereotypes set for me.

A movie meant to break those boundaries seems to have failed. That is the message that society has shown us by snubbing Robbie and Gerwig. As Ferrera said in the movie, “It is literally impossible to be a woman.

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