Barbie: a cultural phenomenon and ally for the LGBT+ community

No one can stop talking about ‘Barbie’ the movie. And for good reason. It is the No. 1 film release worldwide, making upwards of $122 million in international revenue. While its marketing tactics were some of the most intense and out there witnessed in years, maybe even in forever, (see the 24-poster release as a prime example), it’s the movie’s alliance with the LGBT+ community that sets this movie apart. 

While there are several out actors in the cast, there are no characters in the movie who are portrayed as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Most probably due to the fact that Barbie dolls don’t possess any reproductive organs and thus no particular sexual orientation. And there are zero LGBT+ stories either. This is the film’s ingeniousness though; its ability to support and raise awareness for the LGBT+ community without it ever directly referencing it. 

Creating an inclusive environment in Barbieland, the ways in which it shows up for the LGBT+ community include trans icon Hari Nef’s role as one of Barbie’s main three sidekicks. A move that shows its allyship for the trans community. Further, in the film, there’s also a reference to the importance of being who you are authentically, without feeling shame in doing so. A powerful message that empowers people that identify with being LGBT+.