Image of girl with BarbieImage of girl with Barbie

Barbie's Unexpected Lessons on Womanhood and Motherhood Finding ourselves in a Barbie World.

By Morgan Taylor and Blair Gyamfi | Photo courtesy of Barbie

Look, we get it. For months, we saw the color pink take over our world. So when we heard “Barbie movie,” most of us just thought of fluffy, whimsical, bright pink and glitter movie for our kids. 

But, let us tell you… it became apparent within minutes that this movie wasn’t for the enjoyment of our kids, who came dressed in various colors of pink. 

This movie was for US

The Barbie movie was truly a manifesto on womanhood —  it was like watching “Thelma and Louise” but with more fashion and fewer cliffs. There was a clear message that was being sent to all who watched: Women are much more than the one-size-fits-all expectation that society tries to make us. So hear us out. We think the Barbie movie was the perfect allegory for motherhood:

Barbie World is #Goals, But Then Reality Hits

You know how before kids, life was all about brunch, spontaneous trips, and moving up the corporate ladder? That’s basically Barbie World—a magical place where you can be anything. But when Barbie steps into the “real world,” she’s shook. Things got real. Fast. It’s like going from carefree brunches to endless diaper changes overnight. Your identity shifts, your priorities change, and the career you once had takes a backseat.

The Loss of Autonomy

In this “real world,” Barbie is reduced to a stereotype, and men “rule” the world, and it hits hard. Just like when you become a mom, and suddenly you’re seen as a one-dimensional character. All this while men keep climbing the corporate ladder despite their parenting status, and we’re stuck figuring out how to balance a job, kids, and, oh, maybe some personal fulfillment.

From Accessory to Necessity

In the Barbie world, Ken is just an accessory. Cute but not crucial. The “real world,” however, flips that script. Sounds familiar? Women often go from being indispensable to being seen as supporting roles once they enter motherhood. So now, Ken’s like the center of the universe?! Seriously, no one asks dads how they juggle it all.

Time to Glow Up

Barbie returns to Barbie World, but she’s changed. Similarly, once you become a mom, you can’t just revert to your old self. You must balance your old identity with this new, all-encompassing role. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either.

Redefining the Dream

At the end of the day, Barbie has seen too much and changed too much to go back to who she was before. So, she decides to be her authentic self in an imperfect world. And isn’t that the same journey we’re all on? Trying to navigate between societal norms and our own individual needs, especially as mothers? 

So, what do you think? Maybe we have a little more Barbie in us than we thought.

If this resonated with you, then you’re gonna love what we’re doing over at Moms Actually. In March 2022, we created Moms Actually with the goal of creating a space for the real, candid, and unfiltered sides of motherhood, womanhood, and everything in between. Our platform is designed to be your go-to for vulnerable and transparent discussions with other women. 

It’s important for us to spread the message that we’re more than just the labels society often assigns us. As the hosts of Moms Actually, we’re committed to the ongoing work of helping moms rediscover themselves while also challenging traditional expectations of motherhood. Our goal is to redefine what it means to be a mom, one authentic conversation at a time. 

This article was written in partnership with Moms Actually, a digital platform and motherhood community that aims to redefine motherhood and break away from the unhealthy expectations society has placed on women. Moms Actually provides spaces for women to authentically relate to each other in a society that often prioritizes appearances over genuine experiences. They host a visual podcast that addresses the experiences of womanhood, sisterhood, and motherhood through candid and transparent discussions Watch or listen on, YouTube and all podcast platforms.