Barbie and Ken

Last week Barbie broke the billion-dollar mark in sales, and newspaper, magazine articles, twitter, Instagram, you name it have been mesmerized by the movie. Everyone has an opinion of what the movie means and what Barbie and Ken stand for. My good friend Dr. James Flowers, CEO and Founder of J Flowers Health Institute and I are no exception. Dr Flowers writes about Barbie and Ken as breaking gender stereotypes, and I ask the question are they narcissists in a world where “Everything’s all about me“?

We are sure that each and every one of you have your own thoughts about Barbie and Ken so please join in on the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Embracing Individuality and Breaking Stereotypes

In an age where inclusivity and breaking societal norms are increasingly celebrated, the upcoming movie “Barbie” starring Margot Robbie promises to be a refreshing and empowering cinematic experience. This blog post aims to highlight the positive aspects of the film and how it encourages men and women to embrace their individuality and challenge traditional gender stereotypes.

Celebrating Diversity and Authenticity

“Barbie” offers a powerful message about embracing diversity and celebrating individuality. The movie challenges the notion of an idealized, one-size-fits-all beauty standard. By showcasing a range of characters with different body types, backgrounds, and personalities, the film encourages viewers to feel confident in their own unique qualities and to appreciate the beauty that lies in diversity.

Empowering Women

Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the iconic character Barbie goes beyond the superficial. Instead of focusing solely on appearances, the movie delves into Barbie’s journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Through her character, the film emphasizes the importance of inner strength, intelligence, and resilience, encouraging women to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams, irrespective of societal expectations.

Challenging Gender Stereotypes

“Barbie” takes a bold step in challenging traditional gender stereotypes. It showcases both men and women breaking free from societal expectations and pursuing their passions and interests. Through this narrative, the movie sends a powerful message that everyone should have the freedom to express themselves authentically, without being confined by preconceived gender roles.

Promoting Positive Role Models

The movie presents an opportunity for both men and women to find positive role models. It portrays characters who are compassionate, courageous, and intelligent, promoting qualities that go beyond external appearances. By showcasing these qualities, “Barbie” inspires viewers to look beyond surface-level judgments and appreciate the depth of character and substance that individuals possess.

Inspiring Self-Acceptance and Self-Love

At its core, “Barbie” promotes the importance of self-acceptance and self-love. It encourages individuals to recognize their own worth and beauty, regardless of societal pressures or unrealistic standards. By embracing oneself fully, the movie inspires men and women to cultivate a positive mindset and foster healthy relationships with themselves and others.

“Barbie” has the potential to be a groundbreaking film that challenges gender stereotypes, embraces diversity, and encourages self-acceptance. By celebrating individuality and empowering both men and women, the movie offers a timely reminder that true beauty lies in embracing and expressing our authentic selves.

Are Barbie and Ken Narcissists in a World of Stereotypical Wonder?

When we meet Barbie and Ken in Barbie land, we quickly learn that Ken has no identity worth outside of being with Barbie. He is “Superfluous” and exists only at her discretion. Both are always self-absorbed, living in a plastic land of make believe filled with perfect molded bodies and a cadre of folks that surround them. Enmeshed with one another, their existence is dependent on each other’s approval and foibles.

In an earlier article, we looked at Co-Narcissism, and after seeing Barbie, the topic captured my sensibilities. It got me thinking that I have done a lot of work with people who have found themselves in a narcissistic relationship, and while I have always helped folks set boundaries, it got me wondering. We often talk about folks being enmeshed in other folks’ relationships – codependent — yet rarely do we hear people report they are “Co- Narcissist”. Psychologist, Sharie Stines points out that it takes two to tango and in essence a narcissist cannot exist without a co- narcissist.

Alan Rappaport points out “the narcissist needs to be in the spotlight and the co-narcissist serves as the audience.” So the question is, are Barbie and Ken both narcissists ?

The larger question is when you think about yourself, have you ever been or are you in such a relationship?

If you have been or currently are please know much of this fusion has been done at an unconscious level as you try to appease the person by being who you believe the he/ she / they needs you to be.

Similarly, it maybe you grew up in a household with a narcissist where you learned how to be valued as objects to other people, not how to attach to the other person.

Some of these behaviors might resonate with you:

  • You take on responsibilities that belong to the narcissist.
  • You do not acknowledge your own feelings.
  • You are loyal to a fault.
  • You have an external focus for decision making.

You are, alas, unfortunately as good as the last request. If you don’t do the narcissist’s bidding, you are exiled. You can’t spend the night in Barbie’s home and you can’t exist without the other’s permission. In many respects, being a co-narcissist is similar to walking on eggshells and you question if you are intrinsically good enough smart enough, etc.

Like codependency you can choose what you say yes to. You do not have to jump when asked. You can say “No”. You can stop changing your schedule, not meeting your own needs.

You can begin to change your relationships and begin to value yourself internally. Nothing will change until you do.

While it is difficult to change a narcissist’s fundamental personality traits, there are ways to manage the relationship and minimize the negative impact. Here are some suggestions:

1. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries and communicate your needs assertively. Narcissists often push limits, so it’s crucial to define what is acceptable and not tolerate disrespectful behavior.

2. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize your well-being by engaging in activities that bring you joy and reduce stress. Surround yourself with a support network of friends and family who understand the situation.

3. Manage Expectations: Recognize that a narcissist is unlikely to change their behavior. Adjust your expectations accordingly and focus on self-growth rather than trying to change them.

4. Seek Professional Help: Consider individual therapy or counseling to gain insights into your own emotional responses and develop coping strategies. A therapist can also provide guidance on managing the relationship effectively.

5. Preserve Your Self-Esteem: Narcissists tend to undermine others’ self-worth. Remind yourself of your own value and strengths. Engage in activities that boost your self-esteem and help you maintain a positive self-image.

Secretly I wish Barbie and Ken would call us and we could do relational work with them.

Comment below with your thoughts.