‘Barbie’ Scrutinized by Pt Loma Nazarene Poli-Sci Profs

by on September 27, 2023 · 0 comments

in Media, Ocean Beach, Women's Rights

By Charis Johnston / LomaBeat.com / Sept. 20, 2023

Warning: The following contains spoilers for “Barbie”

Among the millions of moviegoers who attended a screening of director Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” were Point Loma Nazarene University political science professors Lindsey Lupo, Amy Nantkes and Linda Beail. The three viewed the record-breaking film together on July 25.

“The fact that Greta Gerwig is now the first woman director to have a billion dollar movie is so huge; it’s just incredibly important,” said Linda Beail, professor of political science whose research includes the politics of pop culture. “Barbie” was released on July 21 and quickly became the highest grossing film in Warner Bros. Pictures’ history, earning $1.38 billion globally.

“I am not at all the first to say this, but between “Barbie” and Taylor Swift (referring to Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour) and Beyoncé (Renaissance World Tour), it’s a summer of such cool, awesomeness. The pop-culture stuff, obviously, but just the women in business perspective, that part is so cool,” Lupo said.

Nantkes said that she loved watching the movie not only alongside her friends and colleagues Lupo and Beail, but also the packed movie theater with everyone reacting collectively. “It was bringing together this common experience of what it’s like to just live as a woman, but in a way that didn’t feel hopeless or horrible. It just felt…familiar. I thought that was really clever,” Nantkes said.

As of Aug. 11, the day the three sat down for a Zoom interview with The Point, a student had already emailed Beail asking if there could be discussions and assignments centered around “Barbie” in her class. Nantkes also had students and alumni message her on Instagram asking if Beail would be releasing a reaction of sorts. “I am definitely going to have the movie on the syllabus so that we can talk about it,” Beail said.

The first moment that Lupo found the film surprisingly direct was during the roller-skating scene when Ken (Ryan Gosling) talks about the way he’s being admired and that there was no undertone of violence and Barbie’s (Margot Robbie) line references a definite undertone of violence.

“So many women can relate to that. If you blinked you missed it, it was delivered so quickly. But it was like, ‘Oh, that’s a powerful moment.’ There was just a way that they did the gray area so well,” Lupo said.

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