Female Gaze and Film of the Barbie

Queer cultures and gender claim in our childhood

There was a moment in which all of us girls (and personcine queer) born in the years 90 and 2000 we became crazy for the films of the Barbie. Barbie the princess and the poor, Barbie and the twelve dance princesses, Barbie and the Cigni lake, Barbie and the Castle of Diamonds, Barbie and the magic of Pegaso, And so on, the films of the Barbie offered us pink dreamlike scenarios and sparkling made of diademi and fairy crowds to which we all looked at with amazement, admiration and desire. But that the films of the Barbie with the Female gaze?

But what is the female gaze?

First of all, the female Gaze is a cinematographic approach, of feminist origin, in which the three looks that characterize the scene, that of the director, of the actress and the spectator, they are feminine. It is good to specify that more than the kind of these three subjects, what matters is the representation that is made of women: not as objected bodies, but as subjects with agency. Was born in contrast to the traditional cinematographic representation, defined now Bad gaze, of which practically all cinematography mainstream It is an example, sometimes in a more evident way, sometimes more veiledly. In these films, the cut of the recovery focuses on the body of women instead of what they say, often offering a collection of close -ups of parts of sexualized bodies in slow motion. Female roles are first of all standing out for the beauty of the actress, not for the characterization of the character, who is often typed and stereotypical: the relationship between the roles of the genre man-donna fall within the Active fiction-past dear to heteronormal culture, the room deprives the female characters of theautonomy e of the possibility of self -determined. The public identifies in the point of view of the privileged genre, which thus becomes the natural point of view e "impartial": the male gaze It is the universal gaze.

But how to give space, articulate, female gaze? It is not enough to put a woman protagonist in a movie action, Maybe in a tight row, as is not enough to turn the paradigm: it is not sexualize the male bodies to the Magic Mike That a female gaze is obtained, but only a bad gaze applied to other men.
The Chamber of the Female Gaze is focused on the so -called
feeling seeing, As Joey Soloway, director, Director explainsə and manufacturerə US, in one of his famous Tiff Tiffs: a subjective chamber that shows us the emotional journey ofə protagonist from inside, allows us to feel and see What is trying; Emotions have priorities about actions.

It could be said that if the evil gaze tends to object women, the female gaze tends to humanize the men. But let's go back to the Barbie.

As far as I am concerned, the Barbie films occupy a special place in my heart because they have marked the conclusion of a period of my life, childhood. I was the last thing "as a child"That I appreciated, before completely denying my femininity in pre -adolescence and begin to remove everything that was vaguely metaphorically rose. I took off to love them and to claim them recently.

But what frightened the twelve -year -old me so much of thatIngarbuglio of songs in the incomplete, dance shoes and large skirts? I think the answer is: their excessive femininity, that the internalized misogyny given to me by the patriarchal society I looked out at twelve years of age, he immediately taught me to despise.
Because if the dominant universal gaze is the male one, everything that has not been directed, interpreted and does not have as a user
L'Manthat is, it does not present the typical characters of the evil gaze, it becomes frivolous, not interesting, superficial, even implicitly degrading. "Girls stuff".

And Barbie, wrapped in his pink tulle, full gas trotter out of evil gaze, stuns him with glitter strokes, dance steps, vulnerability and emotional expression. The world of Barbie cartoons is basically a space in which the male point of view (traditionally understood) is not the protagonist, or it is not present.
A place where the gaze, emotions and feelings of the girl, or queer person, become important, central.

But how does the female gaze are articulated in the cartoons of the Barbie?
Given the target, Barbie films have the undisputed protagonists of female friendship relationships, which are represented as horizontal, equal, balanced social relationships. The public identifies in the female perspective and the cinematographic cut highlights the meaning of
be a woman in the Barbie Universe. And although heterosexual romantic relationships are often present in the background, they never represent the fulcrum of the plot. The male characters are there, but they do not cover decisive roles or exercise oppression, often act in an ally position. There are no dynamics of power between genres, Barbie must not claim his leading role by impersonating the characteristics of the performing toxic masculinity that the evil gaze imposes on the male protagonists: he shows himself vulnerable, caring, dreamer, questioned his choices, misses, He is able to forgive and forgive himself.
But let's see some examples. I will bring my considerations back to my two favorite Barbie films, which in the end are also the most declaredly queer and in which the female gaze is more evident.
Barbie and Diamanti Castle And Barbie - The princess and the poor.
The first tells the story of two
friendsinseparable who live in a house cottagecore, semi-isolated by society. During the course of the film they face several challenges that put their relationship to the test, but in the end their bond triumphs and the two can meet.


The main theme is undoubtedly the celebration of the relationship between women, which is proposed spontaneously, simple, daily, in contrast with the cinematographic representation mainstream Which tends to demonize and devalinous female relationships by portraying them as complicated, insidious, mischievous.
It is easy for a queer person to identify in this film in particular because all the dynamics represented independent of the patriarchal social patterns typical of the evil gaze: unlike other barbie cartoons, the two protagonists are completely shown disinterested in potential heterosexual relationships
, although the opportunity is presented (Ironically also, halfway through a magic rainbow, they jump on the two boys who had offered to accompany them in the mission). Identification that is strengthened when, at the end of the film, after a romantic romantic scene that sees a protagonist save the other from a spell thanks to the power of "friendship", The two refuse the offer to stay to live in Diamond Castle. Everything they want is in fact to return to their house in the woods where they can live on their own, cultivate flowers and sing songs of love mutually (more beautiful of all, cOnnected: “Every time that I Breathe/ I Can Feel The Energy/ Reachin 'Out, Flowing through me and me to you/ you are everywhere I/ separate souls unified/ touchin' at the speed of life).

Barbie - The princess and the poor It is a story of power games, exchanges of person, kingdoms in a broken bank. The plot is divided into two girls, born on the same day and identical in all but from two radically different social classes, which after knowing themselves accidentally, exchange roles and their respective lives, from which both would like to escape.
The fundamental themes are self -determination, the search for freedom, the affirmation of one's desires. The two protagonsin fact, they feel forced to play a role that the company has imposed on them: the revelation song I am a girl like you"Puts in light the profound bond that arises between the two when they realize that they undergo the same social injustice, mutually crushed in the role of future wife of an unknown, and of underpaid worker submerged with debts (I'm Just Like You/ You're Just Like Me/ There's Somewhere Else We'd Rather Be/ Somewhere That's Ours/ Somewhere That Dreams Come True/ Yes, AM A Girl Like You).

A'other theme that is touched in the film, and which once again encourages the identification of the people thatr, is acceptance dthe Self Stossə Through the celebration of diversity: the cat of one of the two protagonists barking instead of meowing, and this is the cause of discomfort for the animal, Because he feels that his true identity does not fall into a specific and regulatory category (neither dog, nor cat). Erica, one of the two protagonists, promptly intones a song through which he spurs him not to change, a Remember that "different" does not mean "ugly": “If you Bark, celebrated it,/ make your mark, serenade it/ and if what you are a strange you/ doesn't mean you Should Change You/ Only means you Should Change Your Point of View”. Heroine proves to be ally and affectionately solidarity In a moment of vulnerability of the friend cat: "There is not one hair of you/ That i would rearrange/ I love you the way you are/ and that Will Never Change. "

Therefore, the Barbie films can be said to represent the avant -garde of inclusion or of the deconstruction of evil gaze in the cinema field? It would be quite approximate and incorrect as a reading: Barbie, in fact, promotes an ideal of specific and traditional femininity, as well as privileged and excluding (a white woman, cis, thin, skilled). And also in the cartoons, in the end not The social cage in which the characters are at the beginning, the characters is ever destroyed Stories leave no room for deeper interpretations of the socio -political context in which the story is articulated. Barbie is not a revolutionary, it does not really want to break the patterns, subvert a system in which it is not identified. And this is Chiaramenyou due to the fact that the whole empire Barbie rests, however, on a liberal individualistic ideal, which really has no interest in causing a total critical reflection in theə littleə showə.

Therefore they must be condemned in full?
I would say no. The cartoons of the Barbie have offered and still offer one safe space to queer personalities and girls outside the evil gaze, in which they can feel represented
ə, wrappingə From a warm and fragrant pastel pink embrace. They gave people like me, before entering twelve in contact with the gender stereotypical dynamics of the heteronormated society, the possibility of imagining me for example to live with a girl in a forest by eating bread and jam forever. And this before I articulated a reflection of any nature on my romantic orientation. Therefore I don't think it makes sense to condemn girls and queer people who now affectionately remember Barbie's films as something in their childhood have identified themselves.
And for this, all in all, I claim them.


Valeria Regis


They inspired the article:

Joey Soloway on the female Gaze, Master Class, TIFF 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnBvppooD9I&t=2602s

Barbie and the Straight-to-Dvd Movie: Pink PostFeminist Pedagogy: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14680777.2016.1178158?needAccess=true

Whereranalyzing the barbie movies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZION_-IsJro

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