Words & Banter

RED & BLACK … And Barbie?!

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I know it wasn’t your kind of movie, but I can’t stop thinking about the Barbie movie.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

It is if I look at it as a “research project” versus pure entertainment.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Of course, you did. But I do understand. I know Sawyer was very excited about going to the sneak preview the night before it officially opened, not only to be entertained but to watch it through the lens (pun intended) of her classes at Belmont since she’s majoring in Creative & Entertainment Industries.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

I know she was excited to see it again with us. It is one of those movies where you will pick up on different things with each viewing.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

So, does that mean you’re going to see it a second time?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Not sure. Once may have been Kenough.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Cute. Sawyer mentioned that she and a few of her friends tried to buy the tie-dye sweatshirt Ryan Gosling wears in the movie that says “I am Kenough,” and it’s sold out.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

The movie has been a marketing machine and I am fascinated by all the co-branding. And, how Mattel is not only trying to change how we look at Barbie, but also rebranding itself.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Unlike you, I want to enjoy movies. Although the theater major in me can’t help but critique them. But I’m not the least bit interested in the business side.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Well, the actors and writers strikes may change that. Regardless, all I was going to say is that most people think of Mattel as a toy company, and with the release of “Barbie,” it is becoming more Disney-like in that it is an intellectual property (IP) company managing franchises. That also happens to sell stuff. Lots of stuff.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I guess that explains why it’s a full-blown Hollywood movie with big-name movie stars. And directed by Greta Gerwig, a “serious” and well-respected director. But what made you go see it? Growing up, I don’t remember seeing you play with Barbie dolls. I know I didn’t.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Does hanging out with the boys next door and tying firecrackers to Barbie dolls count? But, I do have one Barbie doll pristine in her original box.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Are you messing with me? Or are you going to say it was an investment purchase?

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Neither. When I was racing the Ferrari Challenge, my crew gave me Ferrari Barbie as a gift. I put her on the shelf next to my various racing awards and paraphernalia.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Did they mean it as a compliment or a gag gift?

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Hard to say, as I was the only woman racing the series. But, I did not ask. What was important was how I saw it, not how they did. And, that is why I wanted to see the movie. I had been reading how Gerwig was determined it would not be some “fluff” piece but a work of art and a commentary on society and women. It is an impressive objective, and not one you would associate with Barbie.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Based on the records being broken at the box office, millions of people wanted to see it. Although I’d guess most just wanted to be entertained.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

I was impressed with how Gerwig had something for all women – whether an anti-Barbie feminist or a Barbie fanatic. The real debate is her messaging about men and patriarchal societies.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

And that’s just it. It’s about so much more than Barbie. It’s about society and its expectations of women. And men. Women’s expectations of women. Women’s and men’s expectations of each other.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

I thought it was brilliant how Gerwig basically said, “Ken, welcome to our world,” when he started lamenting about feeling like a “second-class citizen” or being in a supporting role.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I know! But what I found so poignant was the scene towards the end of the movie when Ken is trying to explain to Barbie how he only exists because of her, and she tells him he needs to discover who he is, that he has an identity that’s not tied to being part of “Barbie and Ken.”


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Do you think that is a generational thing? Do people still believe their identity is tied to their significant other?


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Trust me, they do. And it’s not just women. The other day Sawyer told me about a guy friend of hers who had been in a relationship with one of her girlfriends. They recently broke up, and he’s having a really hard time letting go, admitting that he has “lost himself” in her. Sawyer told him he needed to see the movie because he’s Ken.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Interesting. I would not have thought to use the movie for relationship counseling. But, I would in terms of self-realization, especially Gloria’s monologue about the challenges of being a woman.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

That really hit home. And although I totally support all the messaging, I do wish there weren’t quite so many.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

In the movie? Or, in real life?

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Photo by nycshooter on iStock
What do you get when you cross Flag Day (June 14) with June being Effective Communication Month? Well, if you include Black in the mix, you get one of Red’s favorite memories … and a unique way to think about the importance of communicating – whether in your personal or professional life. And especially if you’re in a racecar!


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io


If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
Keep Reading ...Show less
Photo by John Gomez on iStock

There’s much debate about the role America should play in world politics and standing by our allies, and we can’t help but wonder … how many people look at history before forming their opinions? Which is why we feel so strongly about remembering D-Day (and are rerunning the post below), which is about so much more than just a day …


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I still can’t believe you didn’t know what D-Day was.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

All I knew was it had to do with World War II and beaches. And, required lots of strategic planning. Remember, I am not a history buff like you.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Or a movie buff. There has been an assortment of D-Day movies, and I wouldn’t expect you to have watched the older movies, like “ The Longest Day” with John Wayne, but I figured you’d have seen “ Saving Private Ryan .”


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

The Tom Hanks movie? It was a great war movie, but from what I remember, it was about the search for a particular soldier during WWII. Although I remember the opening scene showed the horrors of war. Regardless, I do not get my “history” from movies that might take literary license for the sake of storytelling, even if Steven Spielberg’s movies are mostly accurate.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

That opening scene WAS D-Day.
Keep Reading ...Show less
Photo by Iam Anupong on iStock

Some memories fade with time, but others remain as vivid as the day they happened. Like the day my big sister and I played golf together (an extremely rare event), although the memory isn’t about golf, but about how a sister’s flippant comment can stay with you for over 40 years …

There was no way to know it would become a highly effective way of remembering the importance of sunscreen. Especially as it happened before May was declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and May 27 became National Sunscreen Day.

I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.

Keep Reading ...Show less