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I’m not saying add the movie to Pure-Flix, but don’t throw the Barbie out with the bathwater

Tavia Jean Breeze-Courier Writer

Recently, considerable debate has been surrounding the content of children’s films and their potential impact
on religious values. The release of the new Barbie movie has ignited a similar discourse. However, rather than dismissing the film as anti-Christian, it is vital to recognize the presence of Christian-based undertones within the movie’s narrative. By embracing these themes, we can encourage meaningful conversations with children and reinforce Christian values in a contemporary context. It is important to note that recommended viewing age should be followed. While the PG-13 movie toes the line on jokes within, it must be pointed out that the content is unsuitable for viewers under thirteen.

Nevertheless, today, I want to take a stand and say, enough is enough with Christian gatekeeping. Barbie was created by a Russian Jewish woman named Ruth (Moskowicz) Handler, who wanted
to create something her daughter could play with and enjoy. Something more durable and realistic than other dolls of that time.
The new Barbie movie has its roots deep within the history of Barbie. In an interview, the film director, Greta Gerwig, told the New York Times that she wanted the Barbie movie to feel like Shabbat. The movie’s lead writer, Noah Baumbach, is Gerwig’s Jewish partner and co-parent. Its stars include Jewish actress Rhea Perlman as the doll’s real-life Jewish creator, Ruth Handler. As someone raised in Church, it’s not a secret that Christianity has its roots in Judaism. Before the movie could even dawn on a big screen, my timelines were flooded with hours of content related to the Barbie movie. Mostly trying to point out how inherently satanic this new “Hollywood Elite” entertainment is. While it is essential to know the signs of spiritual attack. It is also an attack on ones self to look at everything around you and not be able to find the good. We can miss seeing the light when we spend too much time looking at the dark. Now let’s examine how the Barbie movie isn’t satanic.

The new Barbie movie is a prime example of how a film can authentically reflect our diverse world while still incorporating Christian- based undertones. The movie showcases Barbie’s journey to a vibrant and fantastical land, where she is engaged with various characters and beliefs. This diversity allows children to understand the importance of respecting different faiths and perspectives, a core Christian value of inclusivity and love for one’s neighbor. In the movie, the Barbies don’t initially consider the toll of the societal structure on dolls like the Kens and Allen. All of the Barbies have dream houses, careers, and cars. The Kens and Allen have the sole purpose of living for Barbie’s attention. The flaws in a matriarchal and patriarchal setting are laid out in this movie. The movie features various Barbies, all named Barbie. Showcasing how far the brand has come by trying to incorporate Barbies that look like many different bodies and faces you will see in the real world.

Throughout the movie, Barbie encounters numerous challenges
that test her resolve and character. In these moments of adversity, she turns to her faith for strength and guidance. By portraying Barbie’s unwavering belief in a higher power, the movie subtly emphasizes the importance of faith and trust in God, attributes central to Christianity. This portrayal can serve as a starting point for discussions about the role of religion in navigating life’s obstacles. In the movie, Barbie must trust and believe she will fulfill her mission. She often listens to her intuition instead of what others tell her. There is even a moment when she takes time to pray and reflect on her journey to bring her closer to the end goal. If that’s not faith driving Barbie forward, then I don’t know what is.

At the heart of Christianity lies the concept of forgiveness and redemption. The new Barbie movie explores these themes by depicting characters who have made mistakes or suffered from misguided beliefs. Through their journeys, these characters learn the power of forgiveness, redemption, and the possibility of transformation. These lessons mirror the Christian values of repentance and grace, allowing children to explore these moral principles through a different lens. By the movie’s end, Barbie and Ken finally understand each other’s struggles and use that moment to allow forgiveness and understanding to each other.

Kindness and compassion are universal values in various religious teachings, including Christianity. The new Barbie movie reinforces these principles by emphasizing the importance of treating others with empathy and care. Barbie’s interactions with the characters she encounters in the film serve as examples of living out the values of kindness and compassion, fostering discussions about the practical application of Christian teachings. There are even moments in the movie when Barbie must learn to show forgiveness to herself. When traveling to the real world, Barbie gets into trouble when arriving, which delays her journey and frustrates her. Before moving forward, Barbie takes a moment for prayer and reflection. Allowing her to find the peace she needs to push ahead with her mission.

Family plays a significant role in the new Barbie movie, emphasizing the importance of familial bonds and the support they provide. These family dynamics mirror the emphasis on family values found in Christian teachings. By showcasing positive and loving family relationships, the film reinforces the significance of family. It can serve as a springboard for discussing the role of family within the context of Christian beliefs. Barbie is a doll shared with mothers and daughters for generations. Even many dads will play Barbie with their kids. Many familial memories are tied to Barbie, which is reflected in the movie.

In an Adam meets God moment, Barbie meets her creator Ruth Handler. There are three different seasons with Ruth and Barbie. The first time Barbie meets Ruth, it is evident that Ruth knows who Barbie is. Barbie senses safety and familiarity. However, she doesn’t recognize her creator. Which is expected in the Christian walk. When we first start our walk with God, it can be hard to recognize him. However, the more we get to know him, the more familiar we are with him, just like Barbie and Ruth in the movie. In the following presentation, Ruth and Barbie walk together and talk. This represents how we walk and talk with Jesus. The following display shows Ruth and Barbie in a room that is a white backdrop. The two speak about Barbie living as a woman in the real world. This exhibit represents the Holy Spirit, as Barbie is brought to a new life through this spirit, allowing her to feel and have a heart of flesh.

The Barbie movie does a fantastic job of reflecting the flaws in humanity.

None of us are perfect, even Barbie. If we were perfect, there wouldn’t be a need for redemption. This movie is a redemption story for Barbie. Barbie might seem ideal, yet natural flaws in her world must be examined. Barbie prays for a heart of flesh. This way, she can feel, be natural, and live in the real world instead of her pretend one. The joke at the movie’s end point her new humanity out perfectly. While the film toes the line with adult- themed jokes, including going too far with “beach,” this movie is still adorably funny and very human. After all, Barbie is based on the image of humanity. Outright dismissing a movie as satanic has become far too familiar in modern times. When doing this, Christians make their claims of honest satanic practices easily dismissable. By engaging in meaningful conversations with children of an appropriate age for viewing, we can explore the film’s themes of faith, forgiveness, kindness, and family values in connection with Christian teachings. Rather than dismissing these movies outright, we can use them as tools to encourage critical thinking, reinforce Christian values, and allow children to explore their faith in a contemporary context. By embracing the positive elements of popular culture, we can bridge the gap between entertainment and spirituality, fostering a deeper understanding of Christian principles and their application in everyday life.

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