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The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

Why is everyone talking about Barbie again?

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Grab your neon rollerblades and slip on those cat-eye sunglasses because the internet is taking a camper van, tandem, snowmobile, boat and powder-pink convertible straight back to Barbie Land. 

Confused? Concerned? Startled at the rapid cyclone of hot-pink rage that has just swept over your For You page? No one could blame you. This return to July’s flurry of pink fluff and girl power is not in answer to a sequel announcement or renewed marketing ploy, but to film’s most prestigious (and contentious) awards race: the Oscars. 

Although the actual ceremony will not take place until March, the internet has been buzzing over the January 23 announcement of nominees– not because of who received the honors, but who didn’t. Despite “Barbie”’s nomination for the top prize – Best Picture – the film’s titular lead, Margot Robbie, and acclaimed director, Greta Gerwig, were left out in the cold. 

Fans’ outrage that both the director and star of arguably the biggest movie of the year had been snubbed was stoked even further by the nomination of “Barbie”’s Ryan Gosling for Best Supporting Actor in his role as Ken. For anyone living under a rock, “Ken” is, by nature, always secondary; there is no Ken without Barbie. According to the awards committee, it seems, there is no Barbie without Ken. 

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Many objectors have pointed out the irony of the film receiving attention for its (supporting) male character and not the two women who actually helmed the project (Robbie serves as a producer as well as star). They argue that this phenomenon is precisely what the feminist-central “Barbie” so cleverly condemned. Even Ryan Gosling expressed his disappointment for the sake of his director and costar in a statement released about his nomination. 

The women behind “Barbie” were not entirely neglected, however; America Ferrera, another cast member, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She too has expressed regret over Gerwig and Robbie’s lack of recognition. 

One could argue that the outrage over what was lost is taking away the joy of what was gained; surely Ferrera deserves the full attention and support of “Barbie” fans without the disclaimer. The rest of the list is nothing to sneeze at, either– for the first time in Oscars history, three (out of ten) nominees for Best Picture were directed by women, and Lily Gladstone deserves applause as the first Native American nominee for Best Actress. Sure, these milestones should have come about decades ago, but who’s counting?

According to Gerwig and Robbie themselves, the so-called “victims” of this Oscars slight, there is little to mourn and much to celebrate. Ever gracious, they have expressed nothing but absolute delight over the success of their film and collaborators, nominated and not. Perhaps we should take a page out of their book and celebrate the wins rather than shouting about the losses; after all, the awards committee certainly doesn’t care which side of TikTok screams the loudest. “Barbie,” for one, can speak for itself.

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Nicole Kowalewski
Nicole Kowalewski, Arts & Culture Editor

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