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Issa Rae Is ‘President Barbie’ and We’re All Better for It

Nothing but respect for MY President Barbie.

Issa Rae's President Barbie in Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie.

Here we are, in the timeline where former presidents are being thrown in jail for 34 felony charges. What a world, what a world. What I’d give to live in a world where someone smart, funny, capable, and smart about their moisturizing routine were president.

I guess Greta Gerwig felt similarly, because in her upcoming film Barbie, she cast Issa Rae as “President Barbie.” And if that isn’t the biggest form of wish-fulfillment I’ve ever seen, then I must live in a bubble, because what I wouldn’t GIVE to live in a world where Issa Rae is president!

Honestly, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall whenever Issa and Greta were in the same room together. Both are immensely talented filmmakers who’ve built their careers on telling stories that feel genuine to the actual lived experiences of American women. For instance, Rae’s Insecure was a candid expression of Blackness that was full of joy, humor, and incredibly real, sometimes painful moments, while Gerwig’s Ladybird and Little Women both showcased the lives of women as solid entities that didn’t rely on external forces to stand on their own.

In Rae’s case in particular, I think the reason why so many people root for her and think so highly of her (myself included, obviously) is because she’s genuinely in this business for the joy of creating, and she’s brilliant at what she does. Even during the early days of Awkward Black Girl, she demonstrated a sharp understanding of comedic timing mixed with the uncomfortable ins-and-outs of social expectations.

Now, with such a massive ensemble cast, it’s not guaranteed that we’ll get to see President Barbie’s panache in action to any ostensible degree. But I’m holding out; I’ll happily put my money on the writing skills of Issa Rae and Greta Gerwig.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).