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‘Barbie’ may be unsuitable for kids due to suggestive references, mature tone

Director Greta Gerwig’s upcoming comedy-fantasy film ‘Barbie’ has been the talk of Hollywood along with Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’, with the two being touted as the biggest releases of July.

While boasting a PG-13 rating making it a film friendly for kids and families alike, doubts have been raised whether the movie is appropriate for kids, as previews have shown “suggestive references and brief language”. Furthermore, due to its more mature and deep themes, the movie won’t fully appeal to kids.

Due to this, the film may not be suitable for children under the age of 13, with the film’s PG-13 rating strongly cautioning parents that “some material may be inappropriate.”

The Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling-starrer is a very different take on ‘Barbie’ as it isn’t just aimed at children, but also adults who grew up playing with the Barbie toys. As such, the movie has been made with both children and adults in mind.

As the initial visuals of the film’s colorful costumes, bright colours and set designs appeared, the creators of this pink fantasy toy-world dreamland began dropping hints about the story.

Plus due to the film’s deeper themes, it is not at all something that is childish in any way.

In a recent conversation with ‘People’ magazine, Greta Gerwig, talking about the film, said “We invent things like dolls to explain to ourselves what it means to be human. Part of me wondered if there was a way that we could allow the doll to also have that humanity. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Queen of Plastic was given something real?”

The movie contains many references to existential musings and political leanings particularly in regards to themes such as feminism and patriarchy. As reported by ‘People’, according to critics who have already seen it, ‘Barbie’ includes themes that may be more familiar to adults than kids, interspersed with silly jokes that appeal to all.

It’s heady and existential and sometimes uses big words, but smart kids will be eager to lean forward and meet the movie on those terms.

According to Danny Brogan, the executive editor at Common Sense Media, an organization that pre-screens and rates content for kids, told Yahoo!, “I think Gerwig has included all this maturer content knowing that a large portion of the audience will be millennials and members of Generation Z — people who grew up with Barbie during the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s — looking for that nostalgia but also to be entertained. They’re no longer that 8-year-old who took Barbie everywhere with them.”

The film will also explore the contrast between the female-centric fantasy realm of the Barbie and Ken dolls and the real life modern society with its many complex realities. Ken will start getting radicalised by America’s notions of patriarchy, while Barbie has to deal with sexual harassment. In addition, the movie contains some suggestive language and even one or two F-bombs.

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