Emerald Fennell Subversive Take on Barbie Midge Sparks

Emerald Fennell Subversive Take on Barbie Midge Sparks

Emerald Fennell Subversive Take on Barbie Midge Sparks, image by goodhousekeeping

The iconic Barbie franchise is getting a modern makeover in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming live-action film, with Emerald Fennell bringing her signature wit and subversive flair to the role of Midge Hadley. As Barbie’s eternally pregnant best friend since 1963, Midge has perpetuated stereotypes of domestic femininity. But with Emerald Fennell at the helm, Midge is poised for a 21st-century reinvention that flips the script on societal expectations.

As the writer and director of the provocative film “Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell has demonstrated her talent for upending norms with nuance. Now, she’s infiltrating the famously pink Barbie world as the quintessential “nice girl” sidekick. But if Fennell’s filmography is any indication, her portrayal of Midge will be anything but one-dimensional.

CharacterTraditional PortrayalHow Emerald Fennell Could Reimagine
Midge HadleySweet, domestic “nice girl” sidekick; stereotypical maternal figureSharp-witted feminist iconoclast who challenges expectations of femininity
Baby BumpControversial symbol of Midge’s identity as expectant motherOpportunity to explore nuances and dualities of modern motherhood
BarbieIndependent career woman and symbol of empowermentOutdated archetype whose flaws Midge lovingly satirizes

From Domestic Goddess to Feminist Iconoclast

For generations, Midge has represented the ideal of maternal domesticity. With her ever-present baby bump and kindly smile, she was the perfect complement to independent, career-driven Barbie. But through Emerald Fennell lens, Midge could potentially uphold feminist ideals that Barbie lacks.

What could this updated portrayal look like? Imagine Midge delivering sly feminist commentary with her trademark grin. Rather than staying quietly in Barbie’s shadow, this Midge could challenge narrow beauty standards that reduce women’s value to their looks. She might provide an empathetic shoulder for Barbie to lean on when perfectionistic pressures become too crushing.

Most subversively, she could emblemize that femininity and domesticity are not antithetical to ambition. With her growing family, Midge could show that mothers can balance full lives and multifaceted identities beyond parenthood.

Nuancing Portrayals of Motherhood

As one of the first pregnant dolls on the toy market, Midge’s baby bump was initially controversial. But she also gave young girls a positive image of motherhood, one where pregnancy did not preclude playfulness. However, she has also reinforced limiting assumptions that women’s aspirations should center on motherhood.

Enter Emerald Fennell, who as a mother herself recognizes the complex duality of modern motherhood. Her Midge could validate that pregnancy is an identity-shaping experience without being an all-encompassing one. Barbie offers girls an aspirational reflection of self-actualization; Midge can show that being maternal does not preclude having other dreams.

Sparking Intergenerational Dialogue

For younger generations, Barbie represents an outdated archetype of femininity. But she still holds nostalgic significance for women who grew up playing with her. Midge provides a bridge between these perspectives.

Portrayed as a mother herself now, Midge can be both progressive and nostalgic. With Emerald Fennell wry millennial wit, she could fondly satirize Barbie’s flaws while upholding the friendship that made them so beloved. Midge is uniquely positioned to have hard conversations that advance feminist ideals without alienating women who found empowerment in Barbie’s ambitions.

The Power of Playful Provocation

Let’s recall Emerald Fennell film “Promising Young Woman,” which sparked heated debate even as it dominated awards season. Love it or hate it, no one could ignore its unapologetic centering of female rage against gendered violence.

The Barbie film likely won’t inspire such intense emotions, but Emerald Fennell involvement guarantees more layers than its glittery exterior suggests. Midge herself may share some of these provocative qualities. Behind her agreeable persona, she could challenge expectations that women must always be compliant.

With controversy comes awareness. So Emerald Fennell signature audacity paired with Midge’s sweetness promises refreshing irreverence that shakes up stale gender roles. Midge’s makeover may be as slight as a knowing wink from Fennell, but it speaks volumes.

The Future of Midge

So beyond the pink convertibles and dream houses, what is Midge’s role in Barbie’s legacy? If Emerald Fennell has her way, Midge could become far more than a sidekick. She has power to shape culture that transcends the film through what she represents.

Midge is no longer just “the pregnant Barbie” in Emerald Fennell hands. She could inspire an updated doll line with greater diversity. Just as curvy and petite Barbies have appeared in recent years, perhaps Midge dolls that reflect various pregnancies, skin tones, or family structures will emerge.

Most optimistically, Emerald Fennell Midge may leave the biggest impact on actual girls and women. She validates that identities like motherhood and femininity, when freely chosen, are as empowering as Barbie’s CEO dreams.

Barbie’s critics argue she promotes an impossibly high beauty standard; Midge can show girls their worth isn’t defined by appearances alone. Barbie’s independence intimates that ambition erases typically “feminine” roles; Midge proves girls can envision every dream for themselves, whether that includes motherhood or not.

Emerald Fennell’s interpretation of Midge matters because play shapes imagination just as stories shape culture. Little plastic Midge dolls gave prior generations early images of pregnancy and womanhood. So too may Emerald Fennell Midge open up horizons of possibility for girls today to envision their futures as they choose.

What are your hopes for Emerald Fennell portrayal of Barbie’s best friend? Share your thoughts below.

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