WARNING: Light spoilers for Barbie and the performance of America Ferrera ahead.
During the Barbie promotional tour, which took place before members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) officially went on strike, Barbie star America Ferrera spoke about a major difference she sees in the way girls and boys are raised when it comes to having to let go of the things that make them happy as children.
During an interview with etalk, Ferrera explained why she believed there is a double standard when trying to wean girls and boys away from things like toys and video games.
“Growing up is about leaving behind childish things – particular for women,” she said. “Men get to have their man caves and play their video games forever. [For] women, it’s like, ‘[Put] your toys away, do the chores, grow up.’”
Ferrera added that these themes are something that attracted her role as Gloria in Barbie. In the film, Gloria is an employee at Mattel, the maker of Barbie, who has a special connection to the world-famous doll brand.
“That’s what really touched me about Gloria as a character,” Ferrera said. “This woman somehow made it to adulthood holding on to the value of play and the value of aspiration and imagination. It’s, in a way, counterculture – that [women] can be a lot of things at once; that we can be joyful and playful and imaginative and childlike and be a grown woman, professional [and] taken seriously.”
Since Barbie premiered nationwide at theaters last week, America Ferrera has been commended everywhere for her performance alongside Margo Robbie and Ryan Gosling. The scene everyone is talking about is a monologue she gives in the third act of the movie where she explains many of the challenges women face in the world today. Some people are even calling the scene Oscar-worthy.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Barbie being covered here wouldn’t exist.