woman speaking with caption 'the new Barbie movie's sole purpose is to brainwash women into hating men' (l) Barbie movie on TV in front of bowl of popcorn on coffee table (c) woman speaking (r)

JOCA_PH/Shutterstock @melaniealexandraaaa/TikTok @kelleymbode/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Did you finish the movie?’: TikTokers react to woman’s video about ‘Barbie’ brainwashing women into ‘hating men’

More than one person pointed out that 'Barbie' definitely isn't the reason why women might dislike men.


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 26, 2023   Updated on Jul 26, 2023, 12:45 pm CDT

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is making history at the box office and shifting the discourse, and part of that discourse is people who completely misread the film’s themes and message to push their own brands or agendas.

A TikTok from a relationship coach named Kelley (@kelleymbode) is one good example. She has more than 55,000 followers and her account is full of the kind of vague, heteronormative relationship advice you can find all over the app.

So her “review” of Barbie is framed that way: The film’s “sole purpose,” she says, “is to brainwash women into hating men. By using lies and exaggerated caricatures of who men and women are.” The TikTok has more than 1.8 million views.


♬ original sound – Kelley | Relationship Coach

Now, if you saw Barbie, the first question you’ll likely have—and the top one in the comments—is whether she actually watched the movie. Both Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) discover who they are in their own separate character journeys, and the message is literally spelled out for Ken on a sweatshirt.

“Did you watch the movie!? Lol I’m a man and I got the memo!” said one commenter.

“Shes in the mojo dojo casa house,” said another.

The stitches with her TikTok expanded on the notion that Barbie causing women to hate men is quite the reach, when there are so many other factors: “I actually haven’t even seen the movie and I already hate men,” said @melaniealexandraaaa. “So riddle me that.”

@melaniealexandraaaa #stitch with @Kelley | Relationship Coach explain this one Kel Kel #barbiemovie #barbietiktok ♬ original sound – Melanie Alexandra
@cravencourtney kelleymbode perhaps not seeing yourself as any of the characters in the movie was upsetting for you. Hope Ken picks you💅🏼#barbie #barbiemovie #piersmorgan #greenscreenvideo ♬ original sound – Courtney Craven

Unsurprisingly, TikTok is full of wild takes on the film—that it’s propaganda, that Barbie is gay—but a lot of people seem to be missing the emotional, communal, and generational reasons why this film is being so embraced right now. And the fact that it’s supposed to be a fun experience.

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*First Published: Jul 26, 2023, 12:44 pm CDT