“Barbie: Let’s Discuss!” An Evening of Thoughtful Conversation

3 min read

Julia Pecora ’25

Features Editor

On Oct. 4, 2023 at 5 p.m., the Rittenberg Lounge will host a unique and engaging event titled “Barbie: Let’s Discuss!” It is organized by the Women’s Gender and Resource Action Center (WGRAC) and IGNITE, and co-sponsored by the English, Sociology, Language and Culture Studies (LACS) and InterArts departments, this event promises to be a thought-provoking exploration into the world of Barbie and its societal impact.

The event boasts an impressive lineup of speakers who will delve into the many facets of Barbie, her movie and doll itself, and its cultural significance. The speakers will be Diana Aldrete, assistant professor of language and culture studies and human rights; David S. Brown, associate professor of English; Rebecca K. Pappas, assistant professor of theater and dance; Alyson K. Spurgas, associate professor of sociology.

The event will feature panelist-led discussions that delve into various aspects of Barbie’s impact on society. The central focus of this evening is to unpack the gendered, racial and cultural norms and stereotypes presented in the film and critique it from a diverse lens and varied perspectives. The Barbie doll, a cultural icon since its inception in 1959, has evolved over the years to reflect changing societal norms and values. The Barbie movie is a reflection of this evolution and this event will critically analyze and discuss the movie’s implications.

This will be a great event to reflect on and recognize the Barbie doll’s influence as both a cultural artifact and a symbol of societal change and if/how the movie reflects so. Barbie has often been at the center of debates concerning body image, gender stereotypes and cultural representation. The movie highlights those issues and the panel will delve into such topics–giving attendees critical insight into how popular culture can shape and reflect our collective consciousness.

“Barbie: Let’s Discuss!” encourages active participation from the audience. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage with the panelists, fostering a dynamic and inclusive dialogue. This interactive aspect of the event is designed to seek a broader range of perspectives and will hopefully encourage a more elevated critical analysis of films outside of Barbie.

In a world where popular culture often mirrors and influences societal norms, events like “Barbie: Let’s Discuss!” are essential. They provide a space for intellectual exploration and thoughtful analysis of cultural phenomena. By examining “Barbie” and its influence through various lenses, this event promises to be a stimulating and enlightening experience for all those in attendance.

“Barbie: Let’s Discuss!” is more than just a discussion about a beloved doll and its movie. It is a window into the complexities of society, culture and representation. As the Barbie doll continues to evolve, so too must our understanding of its impact. The film took the first stab, but it is up to its watchers to carve further. This event offers a valuable opportunity to do just that, and attendees can expect an evening filled with engaging conversations and insightful revelations that simply cannot be missed.

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