Barbie – blushing feminity collides with the now

The marshmallow-pink utopia of Barbie Land may well outsell Oppenheimer at the box office when both open this week. A frothy toyland satire versus the real destroyer of worlds – a surreal Hollywood juxtaposition.

   Reviews for Barbie have been mixed though Robbie Collin, usually sound, describes it as “deeply bizarre, conceptually slippery and often roar-out-loud hilarious”. Rolling Stone said Barbie “may be the most subversive blockbuster of the 21st Century.” Margot Robbie, as a stereotypical Barbie one day starts malfunctioning and is despatched to the human world to find out why, accompanied by Ken (Ryan Gosling). Sarah Vine of the Mail was unimpressed and wrote: “It’s a deeply anti-man movie – every male character is either an idiot, a bigot or a sad, rather pathetic loser.”

 The real – plastic – Barbie was launched on 9 March 1959 on a Pisces New Moon which fits with a frothy dream – though that apart the chart reflects a hard sell and an aggressive approach.  Ruth Handler, 4 November 1916, the toy manufacturer who launched Barbie, likewise was a determined Sun Scorpio trine Pluto and square an innovative Uranus. The only hint of frivolity in her chart came from Mercury opposition Jupiter square Saturn Neptune in Leo. A hard headed marketing brand.

 Barbie’s Principal Photography started 22 March 2022 which is imaginative with Jupiter Mercury Neptune in Pisces but otherwise light on the essence of pink with a hard-edged Mars Venus in Aquarius square Uranus.

 Greta Gerwig, the director, 4 August 1983 Sacramento, CA, is a Leo trine an adventurous Jupiter Uranus in Sagittarius but is not made of candyfloss with a Saturn Pluto conjunct square Mars which is solid titanium.

  Margot Robbie, 2 July 1990 7.45am Dalby, AU, is a Sun Jupiter in Cancer opposition the triple conjunction in Capricorn with a Scorpio Moon and a heavy-duty childhood from Pluto in her 4th and her Mars square Saturn.

  Ryan Gosling, 12 November 1980 2.34pm London, Ontario, Canada, who gets top reviews, has an intense, deeply buried 8th house Sun Uranus in Scorpio with a charming Venus, Jupiter, Saturn in Libra in his 7th plus a hard working Capricorn Moon.

  Not one of the associated charts hints at an overdose of Jupiter Venus which is quintessence of the plastic fantastic image of feminine perfection of the 1960s. Understandable maybe in a movie that is a satire but the originators were hardly mirroring their inner child either.

30 thoughts on “Barbie – blushing feminity collides with the now

  1. Late to the party but just saw Barbie and wanted to offer my two cents. I was skeptical going in but it was great fun! I’d describe Barbie as a creative, clever, entertaining movie (reflecting director and co-writer Greta Gerwig’s natal Leo Sun and Gemini Moon on display), that features well-crafted storytelling and a fabulous, standout look (both natally referenced with Gerwig’s Virgo Mercury-Venus receiving a square from Jupiter-Uranus in Sagittarius).

    I bet Gerwig (with co-writer and partner Noah Baumbach) will have a shot at winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

  2. Thanks Marjorie for this, and such an interesting discussion here. And Hugh – Bild Lilli, what a story! No wonder Mattel suppressed everything possible. The very early Barbie doll is almost identical to the German doll, it wouldn’t be possible to get away with this nowadays. If the 1952 date for the cartoon is Lilli’s ‘birthday’, then she had a Cancer stellium, and Nodes in Aquarius/Leo, just like Margot Robbie.

    Also, German Lilli began life as a strictly adult creation, both as cartoon strip and doll. She’s been described as a kind of high-end call girl, or a sassy gold digger. So with this movie, perhaps she’s almost come full circle, since the movie isn’t for young children at all? Cartoon strip Lilli is having a Jupiter in Taurus return this summer. She had Mars in Scorpio back in 1952 – perhaps she’s seeking some fantastic plastic revenge?!

    “Parents considered the doll inappropriate for children and a German brochure from the 1950s described Lilli as “always discreet,” and with her impressive wardrobe, she was “the star of every bar”. She did indeed have such a wide range of outfits and accessories you could buy for her, that eventually little girls began wanting her as a playdoll too. While toy factories tried to cash in on her popularity with children, Lilli still remained a successful adult novelty, especially outside of Germany. A journalist for The New Yorker magazine, Ariel Levy, later referred to Lilli as a “sex doll”. (

  3. Camilla Long in the S Times:
    “Barbie is a hot pink, sexist mess of a film.
    It may already be the ‘movie of the summer’ — but apart from a few jokes from hilarious Ryan Gosling, it’s squealing, corporate and grasping.
    It’s a 12A, but I wouldn’t let my six-year-old daughter near it. It’s filled with adult concepts, jokes and themes: the idea that men are stupid, go to the gym, run everything and don’t care about women, while women are sensible, striving but ultimately conflicted victims. In trying to be comically ahead of the sexism curve, it’s ended up feeling sexist itself.”

    • I just saw the Barbie Movie and you what? GO SEE IT! It’s loads of fun! It’s great that all the theaters are sold out and people are having fun dressing up in pink to see it.

      And it’s not for 6 year olds so don’t take little kids. It was never advertised as being for young children. (But a ten year old could see it although the theater was full of adults, not little kids and frankly, kids might find parts of it entertaining, but it’s more for adults who have good senses of humor.)

      It is indeed a commentary on the “war of the sexes”–but it’s light, it’s not angry. You guys should go watch it rather than judge what you’ve not seen. Go with at least 2 generations–I’m 64, saw it with a friend my age, my kid saw it yesterday with his girlfriend–they are in their 20s. I feel very angry when I see so much judgmental stuff in the comments. I find it lacks compassion–and also, it’s joy-killing and we have enough of that! We need more joy and compassion and kindness–not less.

      Oh yeah–spoiler alert—My friend I who are both in our 60s, are moms and also are teachers cried during the movie! The part about how it feels when your tween child creates the distance that adolescents need to develop their own identity. That made us cry–for those of you with children who’ve gone through that stage–you know how sad that feels.

      • Well the likes of Piers Morgan, Ben Shapiro and a number of other thin-skinned broflakes have been badly triggered by the film, so it must be doing something right.

  4. Saw it last evening. My heart sank as the tale unfolded. I would not take a young Barbie fan to see the movie. It’s harsh and unnecessary. I know why those young girls cried. Little girl power is crushed by the confusion of male/female ‘reality’ at puberty. Let them have their innocence as long as possible.

    • Crikey Lisa, the film sounds dark. I’m very curious to watch it.

      The trailers never looked child friendly, to me, & getting fully grown adults (as opposed to much younger adults) to play Barbie & Ken is already a warning sign. Let’s hope parents are smart enough to think twice before considering to take their kids to watch it (I see it’s a 12A rating), as I agree with you, children should have their innocence as long as possible. But, it’s going to be difficult since it looks aimed at inticing kids to pressure their parents into seeing it.

      • This is interesting in that we are looking in as adults, I had my reservations re “Frozen” and yet Frozen has spun a whole lot of income from derived products and little girls dressing as Princess Elsa, maybe it is just commercial in nature.

        • Good point Virginia (about looking in as adults) & maybe as adults we start becoming very critical & stripping away the joy. But, this movie is a bit of a head scratcher because they seem to have made a movie about a doll with a 12a rating & it has adults (Margot Robbie, age 33 & Ryan Gosling, age 42) as the main characters.

          I should really reserve judgement until I’ve watched it 🙂

      • It’s not dark. It’s funny. It’s a good film. Good see it and decide for yourself. That it is so controversial in 2023 is saying something sad. When I got my first Barbie my mom couldn’t have her own credit card. She couldn’t own her own home. There was 1 barbie (a blonde version and a Burnett version.) Since that time there’ve been all sorts of Barbies–doctor barbies, astronaut barbies & one and on. THAT’S THE CONTROVERSY! That women have lives and are independent–that’s the controversy. Too bad the weak men who are so offended do not understand that partnership is available to them–just not that they are the boss of everything. AND..when little girls play with dolls males are peripheral–a reverse of real life. It’s so simple. ALSO Gerwig’s inclusion and expression of love and admiration for older women, which isn’t part of the controversy, but IS an important idea AND her mother-daughter theme which shows up in all 3 of her films are both beautiful things.

        Please don’t let kill-joys keep you from something fun. It does have a message–but it’s given with lots of love & HUMOR.

    • Agree completely. My daughter was planning to take my nine year old granddaughter to see it today. Then I read all the cringe comments on Twitter, along with quotes from the script, and tried to catch her before they left but it was too late. Not a movie that is appropriate for children, to say the least, despite being billed as such. Also couldn’t help but notice that on the day it opened in the US ( 21 July 23) the Sun was opposite Pluto / square Nodes, while Venus, and Mars were parallel / square Uranus. Probably should have seen that one coming.

      • If you are getting your review from Twitter (X?) you might want to balance that!

        I’m a retired teacher-30 years working with young people.

        I endorse the Barbie movie! It’s NOT a little kid movie-but totally appropriate-nothing that kids shouldn’t see. But they might not appreciate what it is about as much as adults will.

        BTW-all the crying has to do with mother-child relationships and how moms want good things for their children-particularly-but not exclusively-daughters because we women know that we were recently nothing more than chattel (and in many parts of the world STILL are chattel)—our opportunities limited by a patriarchal system.

        As an educator and a mom & aunt this movie is fine for people. It deals with the difficulties of being people. There is nothing wrong with that!

        It’s also very funny-laughing is good for the soul.

    • Your heart sank? The relationship between the mother & tween daughter didn’t make you cry in recognition of that passage of time that occurs in the mother-daughter relationship? The montage of moms and their children didn’t touch you? The silliness of the antics didn’t make you laugh? The ridiculousness of being a toy that can only pretend to drink liquids or take a shower didn’t tickle you?

      Barbie observing a variety of people in a park & interacting with an older women (horrors! The most awful thing for a woman to be!) didn’t touch you? Grewig’s respect for mothers & mother-daughter relationships are a strong point in her films—they depict real healthy normal love between mother & child.The other conversations with the doll’s creator-that she named for her daughter-didn’t touch you?

      I do not understand some of you folk on here.

      It’s a silly movie-with a point about women & men too.

      It’s probably more about being real rather than pretending—and isn’t that also why we are interested in astrology—to learn more about our true selves? Otherwise what’s the point of understanding your chart?

  5. Having grown up in a world of boys toys Barbie is a foreign country so I had to read up on the subject. Apparently the inspiration was the German Bild Lilli doll first produced in 1955. Mattel copied the concept and eventually bought up the rights to Bild Lilli exterminating her in favour of Barbie. The whole story is a depressing example of predatory capitalism which pretty much fits the charts Marjorie examined.

  6. KG I had a walkie talkie doll called Louise. Beautiful doll. Had no interest in any other doll and Barbies, Cindy’s, just bored me. I had the doll of my dreams.

    • Just to add that Bild Lilli was originally the subject of a cartoon strip in the Bild newspaper. The character was created by Reinhard Beuthien on 24 June 1952. This was the basis of the later Bild Lilli doll. The character even appeared in a 1958 black and white film. Mattel have gone to a lot of trouble over the years to suppress all trace of Lilli stopping production not only of the doll but all the other media formats such as comic strips etc

  7. I can’t wait to see it. My kids are bugging me because they already made reservations (it’s sold out everywhere)–I said I’ll see it with one of my crone friends.

    I was born May 1959. I loved my Barbies. I loved playing with them & I loved all the clothes.

    Thinking about that doll I’m wondering–were other dolls before Barbie that were adult dolls rather than playing mamma with a baby doll? I recall there were some that had gigantic eyes and fussy clothes–but they were more decorative, not really for playing with.

    Anyway–It sounds hilarious and fun. Gerwig makes good films. Little Women was terrific. So was Ladybird.

    • Sindy and Tressy. I’m not sure if these were UK only. Tressy had long hair and if you pushed a button in her abdomen her hair shortened (Amazing to a 7 year old). Probably launched the future careers of a thousand hairdressers……..I never liked Barbie as a child and never wanted one – the two above were enough for me.

  8. Margot Robbie has a powerful enterprising cardinal t-squre. She has been a producer for several years. Venus Pluto Libra for 4 planets in 7th for Ryan Gosling is someone who loves being married. A Murdoch paper is going have a critic engaging in culture war nonsense. He just lost a $787 million lawsuit for defamation.

  9. My Dad was one of the designers of Barbie. He worked for Mattel as a design engineer and tool and die maker. She first emerged as a woman in a bathing suit. Much like Eve, Ken was an afterthought. She was sent out into the world on my Dad’s birthday. I have one of the “rejects” before she appeared to the world.

    • I will be going to watch this movie, but not before I’ve watched Oppenheimer. I like the juxtaposition that we’re getting with both Barbie & Oppenheimer. I’ve never been interested in Barbie as a doll, I much preferred Sindy…

      I think there is something dark and slightly surreal about this Barbie movie, though, & so I am fascinated to see how it plays out.

      I wonder if people with heavy weight, or heavier weighter, charts try to release some of their heaviness (whether that be subconsciously or consciously) with fantasy. Perhaps inside the vision of making money from a doll, there was a tiny bit of wishing to be a lighter version of herself from Ruth Handler. Also, I wonder if Margot Robbie got to channel some of her hidden lighter side through ‘being’ Barbie?

      • I hope you enjoy the film.

        it’s not DARK! It’s not! It’s funny and sweet.

        Two separate loving interactions with older women—a respect given by the writer, director that you rarely see in commercial entertainment.

        Kids have their own worlds when they play. I played with Barbies, my sons played with some Lego toys they used to make characters. Kids act out what they need to work through and they try different roles through play. (I’m a retired teacher.) The larger the stage for play–the greater the roles available allows kids to find themselves.

        BUT…aside from child’s play. The film isn’t for little kids–except for the eye candy (it’s very colorful and visually interesting.) It’s for adults. Sort of Like Wallee.

    • Sorry Wendy, I meant to post this as a general comment, but accidentally have replied to yourself. But, I think I agree with what you’ve said about Barbie – underneath that froth, she’s a survivor and can adapt 🙂

    • The chart for the original Bild Lilli cartoon character created by Reinhard Beuthien and first published on 24 June 1952 is interesting.It has a Sun/Venus Conjunction at 2 Cancer, the Moon and Mercury possibly conjunct at 18-20 Cancer, and Uranus at 13 Cancer sextile Jupiter in money making Taurus. All the innovation and dare I say it the love is this first chart.

      Note that Ruth Handler’s controlling Pluto is conjunct the Bild Lilli Sun/Venus and the Barbie 1959 part of Fortune is conjunct its Uranus

  10. Three Gen Z young women of my acquaintance went together to see the Barbie film – all dressed up in Barbie style pink outfits – “for a laugh” and reported the next day that they instead all came away crying. I have no idea why!

    • My sister is insisting on going with her friends. Let’s just say she isn’t a Gen Z. Anyway, we had a sort of mild disagreement about it and she said it was just for fun and told me I was being a bit of a Debbie Downer! She is probably right.

    • They probably cried because of the mother-daughter relationship in the film which is super touching. There’s also a montage about moms. Mother-daughter relationships show up in all 3 of Gertie’s films.

      I wish there wasn’t a backlash–it’s due to the changing societal rolls & values. Like the movement to get rid of the monarchy or the difficulty different powerful groups of humans have with accepting the mistreatment of other humans throughout history–so now some men are very mad because without the roll they were given they need to adjust. Why people are getting so angry–and I’m sorry that I’ve posted responses to so many comments here–but this is the first time in history that women have begun to have equality.

      Why are so many people upset at this movie, about women and non-white people getting to BE people? And, worse, criticizing joyful uses of art to comment on these changes. Why?

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