America Ferrera And The Monologue That Defined Barbie

Michael Wynne
 | August 5, 2023

Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Illustration by: Nuestro Stories

This summer’s movie season has offered an abundance of titles for audiences to dive into. Among them, nothing has been more popular than the hype behind “BarbenHeimmer,” a pair of movies (Barbie and Oppenheimer) that are so opposite yet complement each other like salt and pepper. But, when it comes to these two movies, the former has perhaps delivered one of the most thought-provoking monologues in recent movie history.

However, one of the most surprising aspects of the movie is its exploration of the dreams of a young Latina girl, played by Ariana Greenblatt, and her mother, portrayed by 39-year-old Actress America Ferrera, of Honduran descent. In fact, it’s Ferrera’s words which may live in movie history, like Edward James Olmos’ monologue about being Mexican in the classic film Selena (albeit for other reasons).

Related post: 24 Classic Movies That Include Latinos

Spoiler: America Ferrera’s powerful monologue in ‘Barbie’

“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough.

We’re expected to be extraordinary all the time, but somehow, we’re always deemed wrong. You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. Instead, you must say you want to be healthy, but even then, you’re expected to be thin.

You have to have money, but asking for it is considered crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t suppress other people’s ideas.

You’re supposed to love being a mother, yet you can’t talk about your kids all the time. As a career woman, you should always look out for others.

You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining.

You’re expected to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or threaten other women because you’re supposed to be part of the sisterhood. Always stand out and be grateful, but never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that while remaining grateful.

You must never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, and never get out of line.

It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory, and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you!

And in fact, not only are you doing everything wrong, but everything is your fault. I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots just to please others.

And if all of that is also true for a doll representing women, then I don’t even know.”

The monologue was written by the director and co-writer of the film, Greta Gerwig along with her partner, Noah Baumbach, and sheds light on the struggles women face, the pressure of numerous expectations attached to them, and how exhausting it is. Those who are not put off by specific words like “patriarchy” without context and allow the story to play out will discover a powerful message in the film.

Barbie’s Latina mom character’s speech to the dolls has everyone talking – which is what makes it an instant classic when it comes to movie scripts.

While the monologue has a lot of depth, Barbie is still a very fun comedy movie. If it’s not your taste, that’s fine! Cinema is art, and art is subjective, which is one of the beautiful things about it.

Related Post: From Cuba to Hollywood: Ana de Armas Empowers a New Generation of Latinas in the Industry

Recomended for you

Featured image: Mexican air force Capt. Radames Gaxiola Andrade stands in front of his P-47D with his maintenance team after he returned from a combat mission. Captain Andrade was assigned to the Mexican air force's Escuadron 201. Members of the Escuadron 201 fought alongside U.S. forces during World War II.
Featured image: “Homage a Chespiritu” by Freddy Agurto Parra.
1 2 3 97

© Copyright 2024 | Nuestro Stories | All Rights Reserved

| Privacy Policy