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When you find your real name

by Pansy Robbins

※ Contains information about the end of .

Personally, Bobby was one of the most anticipated films to be released in 2023. Bobby, which I watched with a passion that took over even jet lag on a weekday, was not as interesting as I expected. ‘expected, but it was at least the most interesting work among the works released in 2023.

The film begins with a symbolic being called “Barbie”. At one time it was so popular that every girl in the world was crazy about it, but as feminism (I think this is almost the first time we’ve heard the word feminism so explicitly in a film) was beginning to emerge, it was reduced to something that ruined women.Bobby. The film is a story that begins with a “Barbie”, a blonde typical of the world where Barbies live. The stereotype Barbie, who has lived in the world of Barbie, where women become the protagonists of society and men become the peripheral people, suddenly one day thinks about death and starts doing strange things that Barbie never does. Bobby discovers his flaws and decides to restore his original appearance by visiting the owner who plays with him in the real world. However, in the real world that Bobby visits, he encounters a completely different “reality” from the world he lived in and begins to open his eyes to a new world.

The pink world of Barbie recreated in the film is truly a colorful and attractive world. In this world, the dolls all have the same name, Barbie, but they all have different personalities. Everyone’s body type is different and everyone’s progressive achievements are different, but it is a world where everyone respects each other. The scene where Bobby, who only lived in this fantasy world, comes to the real world and realizes how he is treated in reality based on his appearance, is truly impressive. Bobby meets the girl he had only seen in his fantasy in real life, but is shocked when he hears the girl’s harsh words that he is a fascist who ruins women in the real world. It is true that the Barbie stereotype instills fantasy and obsession in women, but the Barbie world that she lives in is one where different types of women are respected. In this world, women live freely and achieve what they want without being judged by the values ​​of others. But it is literally an “illusion”. The real world isn’t as simple as what Bobby experienced. The “reality” in the film is completely different from the world we live in, but that world is a reflection of the world we live in. Therefore, as viewers of the film, we are more immersed in the events Bobby experiences in the film, reminding us of the experiences we had in real life.

The film distinguishes between this real world and the world in which the Barbies live. The flashy, eye-catching pink color is one element that sets the two different worlds apart, but what clearly sets them apart more than anything else is the name “Barbie.” The fact that all the women in Barbie’s world have the common name “Barbie” is not only a setting, but reveals that the world they live in is completely different from the world we live in. It’s a world where women get the attention and their voices are prioritized, but the names they have make it clear that this world is a fantasy world where only dolls with the name “Barbie” can live.

The main character, Barbie, who was simply referred to as the stereotypical Barbie in the film, gradually finds her own identity as the story progresses and, interestingly, this period overlaps with the time when Ken asserts his identity. In the film, Ken loves Barbie but is always rejected by her. He says his existence makes sense when he exists as Barbie’s boyfriend in the film, but ironically Ken’s appearance overlaps with that of women who exist in reality outside of the film. Women who find their presence when they see themselves as someone’s lover rather than who they are. When images of certain women, still commonly seen, are revealed through the gender-reversed Ken, the sight of Barbie ending up as she is appears to be an intentional production rather than a coincidence. Ken begins a journey to find his true self, rather than the masculinity he learned poorly from real-world men who aren’t Barbie’s boyfriend, and Barbie chooses the path to becoming a real living human being, not just a stereotypical doll.

Barbie is the name of a doll, but this name has several meanings. At the end of , the fact that the stereotypical Barbie uses her name Barbara gives me a lot to think about. (Barbara is the official name of Barbie and the name of the daughter of Barbie’s inventor, Ruth Handler.) She has become a woman who exists as a person with her own unique name, not as a nickname to be called by friendly and affectionate manner by Barbie. someone, Bobby. Bobby, who finally found his “name”, no longer only stays in a happy fantasy world surrounded by pink. He will encounter many obstacles in the real world, but despite this, he will be able to live his life well. as a living human being. There will be some.

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