You don't have to like Amy Schumer. You can think her stand-up is crass, or whatever. You can disagree with her politics. You can complain about her all you want... but you can't talk nonsense about her body. Because no. That crap is just over, folks, okay? It was recently announced that Sony is making a live-action Barbie movie, and guess who they have cast to play Barbie? Agree with it or not, the body-shaming reactions to Schumer as Barbie are not okay. They are simply more proof that body-shaming is still an acceptable prejudice against women (men in some cases too but c'mon; it's mostly women). And we are So. Over. It.
I actually think what Sony plans to do with Schumer's storyline is brilliant. Schumer's character gets kicked out of "Barbieland" because she's not quite perfect enough. She sets out on a journey of self-discovery to reclaim her confidence and self-esteem, much like the journey I have traveled many a Sunday morning after the soul-crushing experience of going out dancing on a Saturday night (all of those thin-thighed women, all of those dismissive-eyed men). Sony chief Tom Rothman reportedly delivered the script to Schumer personally, seeing her as a perfect fit for this movie about female empowerment and self-awareness. Unfortunately, the internet trolls decided Schumer was not allowed to play Barbie. Because apparently there are a lot of people out there who are inordinately attached to their own version of the Barbie brand.
My favorite part of the righteous indignation all of these men clearly feel about Schumer being cast as Barbie? Were any of them planning on actually seeing the Barbie movie?
I'm not saying Schumer playing Barbie is my favorite idea here. I'm saying that any issue people might have with her playing Barbie should have nothing to do with her looks. Which, I think, is exactly the point being made by this new Barbie movie; women have spent entire centuries being judged by their looks. While the human experience continues to evolve and grow, this is the one area where we continue to stagnate. And the Barbie brand, which has been around for 150 years, has had a little something to do with that. The unrealistic proportions of the doll have been facing backlash for years. While Mattel maintained in a 2014 Time article that mothers, not Barbies, are to blame for young girls' self-esteem issues, some psychologists begged to differ. A 2006 study conducted by the University of Sussex found that dolls like Barbie “may damage girls’ body image, which would contribute to an increased risk of disordered eating and weight cycle.”
What must this social media meltdown in response to Schumer being cast as Barbie say to young girls everywhere trying to come to terms with their own bodies? Not because of her acting credentials, but because of her size?
Like in plastic. It's fantastic.