‘You can be anything’: A look at Barbie and ‘Barbie’
According to Mattel, more than a billion Barbie dolls have been sold since they launched the toy in 1959. Barbie and Ken are said to be the two most popular dolls in the world. It would be hard to overstate the influence — for better and worse — that the Barbie toy line has had on our culture.
And, you may have heard, there’s a movie. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is just the 53rd movie to gross $1 billion at the box office, and it’s still the No. 1 movie in the country, nearly a month after its release.
So it’s not like Barbie’s influence is waning.
This hour, a look at our relationship with Barbie (and Ken), the history of Barbie and the woman who invented her, and, yes, the new movie Barbie.
Some other stuff that happened this week, give or take:
- Here’s Everything You Need To Know About “The Blind Side” Scandal And Why Sandra Bullock Is Being Vehemently Defended Online No, Sandra Bullock is not responsible for the allegations surrounding the real-life woman she portrayed in The Blind Side.
- The Blind SideWas Always Trash The book and movie about former NFL lineman Michael Oher lean into the white-savior trope. They were terrible long before the allegations that they were based on lies.
- HowSnow WhiteStar Rachel Zegler Managed to Piss Off Both Disney Fans and Conservatives An unholy union has come together to criticize the actor for her comments about the 1937 Disney classic.
- Surprised by the Eras Tour’s dominance? You weren’t paying attention. As Taylor Swift closes out her record-breaking tour in the U.S., it’s clear that everything she’s built has been leading to this
- Take a Bow, Madonna
- Was ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ planted by conservative media? Probably not. Columnist Drew Magary, a man who technically lives north of Richmond, listened to the song on repeat — then dug into its origins
- MaestroTrailer: Bradley Cooper’sA Star Is BornFollow Up Is The Story Of Leonard Bernstein
- Leonard Bernstein’s Family Okays Bradley Cooper’s Fake Nose
- “Girl” trends and the repackaging of womanhood Online, women eat “girl dinners” and go on “hot girl walks.” Welcome to the girlouboros.
- Scientists Recreate Pink Floyd Song by Reading Brain Signals of Listeners The audio sounds like it’s being played underwater. Still, it’s a first step toward creating more expressive devices to assist people who can’t speak.
- Big Budgets, Big Headaches: Why ‘Indiana Jones 5’ and ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ are Struggling to Make a Profit
- “Planet of the Bass” Is the Biggest Parody Song in Years. It’s Only the Beginning. The spoof of ’90s one-hit wonders was viewed more than 100 million times before it was even released. Is comedian Kyle Gordon ready to be a real pop star?
- The 100 Best Movies of the ’80s ’80s week: From “Paris, Texas” to “A City of Sadness,” and from “Blue Velvet” to “The Green Ray,” these are the films that defined the 1980s.
- The 25 Best Movie Scores of the ’80s ’80s Week: It was a decade of synths and sad jazz, of legends reaching the height of their powers, and of newcomers from other disciplines becoming cinematic virtuosos in their own right.
- The 38 funniest movie performances of the 21st century The Kenergy is off the charts on our list of actors, actresses, and sentient plastic toys that brought the funny on the big-screen in a big way
- Rebecca Castellani: Co-founder of Quiet Corner Communications and a freelance writer
- Rand Richards Cooper: A fiction writer, contributing editor at Commonweal, and the restaurant critic for the Hartford Courant
- Theresa Cramer: A freelance writer and editor and co-founder of Quiet Corner Communications
- Robin Gerber: The author of several books, including Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her
- James Hanley: Co-founder of Cinestudio at Trinity College
- Rich Hollant: Principal at CO:LAB, founder of Free Center, and commissioner on cultural affairs for the city of Hartford
- Michal Lev-Ram: Editor-at-large covering the technology and entertainment sectors for Fortune
- Shawn Murray: A stand-up comedian, writer, and the host of the Nobody Asked Shawn podcast
- Carolyn Paine: An actress, comedian, and dancer; she is founder, director, and choreographer of CONNetic Dance
The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!
Colin McEnroe, Betsy Kaplan, Josh Nilaya, Cat Pastor, Lily Tyson, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, parts of which originally aired June 30, 2017; May 21, 2019; and July 28, 2023, in a different form.