Margot Robbie as Barbie in the Barbie movie
(Warner Bros.)

I Expected to Cry During ‘Barbie’ but Not for This Reason

We are all Barbie girls.

The long-awaited Barbie movie has finally hit theaters. As a lifelong Barbie fanatic, I knew this movie would hit me in all the nostalgic feels. I knew Barbie was in good hands with writer/director Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie playing the lead Barbie. But the entire cast and crew of the film really knocked it out of the park. It felt like a religious experience for those who worship at the pink altar of Barbie. When I wasn’t laughing, I was getting emotional.

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I expected seeing Barbie brought to life in live-action and seeing all the fashions from Barbie’s past to make me feel a little misty-eyed. Barbie was a huge part of my childhood. However, I didn’t think the storyline between Gloria (America Ferrera) and Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) would really get me sobbing.

**Barbie movie spoilers ahead!**

Moms are Barbie girls too

In the movie, Gloria struggles to connect with her tween daughter, Sasha. Gloria remembers a time when she and Sasha were very close and would play with Barbie dolls together. As Sasha got older, she outgrew the need for the doll and playing with her mom. Sasha wanted to get rid of her Barbies, but Gloria couldn’t part with them, especially the “Stereotypical Barbie” doll. When that Barbie (Margot Robbie) shows up in the real world, Gloria and Sasha bond over their quest to help Barbie get back to her world and fix everything that went wrong.

It shouldn’t be surprising that a mother/daughter plotline would be in the Barbie movie. Ruth Handler created the original Barbie doll for her daughter to play with. Handler even named the doll after her daughter, Barbara. Now that Barbie has been around for 64 years, the doll has become a generational connecting point. When I was a little girl, my mother gave me Barbies that had once been her toys. My mom may not have been as obsessed with the dolls as I was, but it was something we both played with. Barbie was a shared enjoyment we both had, even if the rest of our relationship was a mess. As a mom myself, my young daughter is just now entering her Barbie phase. Bringing my old dolls (including the ones from my mom) out to play with her has been an amazing experience.

Over the course of the movie, Sasha sees her mother as a person rather than just an overlord mother figure. She sees how much her mother misses being a part of her life and how much her mother contributes. Gloria also sees that Sasha is growing up but will forever hold memories of her as a child close to her heart. It’s nice to know that my daughter and I can remember playing with Barbies together, even if she goes through a Barbie-hating phase. Barbie is always there for us.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.