We're sobbing over these Barbie reactions—what viewers are saying about the critique on the female experience, Ken's evolution and THAT ending

These 'Barbie' reactions are *Kenough* to tell you if this movie is everything we all hoped it would be...

Margot Robbie as Barbie in Barbieland/ a film still from Barbie 2023 in a pink template
(Image credit: Warner Bros Pictures)

The Barbie movie reactions are in and viewers have a lot to say about Greta Gerwig's long-awaited, dreamland epic.

After all those Barbie movie memes to the ongoing Barbie VS Oppenheimer debate (which even made us see our relationships in terms of Barbenheimer!), the big release day finally arrived and with it, a profound—perhaps more so than any of us could have hope for—exploration of feminism, toxic masculinity and an ending that left us sobbing on the car ride home (we know we weren't the only ones, okay?!).

But, what are viewers across the globe actually saying of their rollerskate, boat, rocket, camper-van and snow-ski ride into Barbie's world? Allow us to break down every thought and feeling movie-goers had and share online...

Reactions to 'Barbie's feminist themes

Being that the film was based on a doll made for girls—who famously never married, nor had children and embodied every career imaginable (we saw Barbie as president, a Nobel prize-winning journalist and scientist, a Supreme Court Justice and even an astronaut—all of which are IRL dolls), Barbie gave a commentary on feminism, the likes of which we've scarcely seen before and one that we deserve in 2023. 

America Ferrera's speech alone is one that will stay with many of us forever, as she described with devastating accuracy, the impossible contradiction that is being a 'woman' by today's societal standards. And naturally, the reactions are tear-jerking to say the least, to anyone who related to every damn line of Ferrera's monologue...


♬ these videos are adorable - 🪶starling

As one viewer wrote on TikTok: "The Barbie movie made me cry 3 times while watching it last night and literally 5 more times today while watching other women's reactions towards it on TikTok. I feel so much more connected to every woman after being reminded about our shared female experience that no man will ever fully understand."

Another shared: "Mattel taking ownership of how they made young girls feel like they aren't enough was NOT what I was expecting...I laughed, I felt seen and I felt heard."


♬ What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture "Barbie"] - Billie Eilish

"not to be dramatic or anything but this barbie movie just changed my life," tweeted one viewer—and same.

A second Twitter user also commented: "Watching #Barbie with a sold-out crowd of girls in pink who all cried together during the Billie Eilish montage celebrating womanhood in all its comforts and complexities and contradictions is quite literally what the movies were made for."

Also, can we just take a moment for that bench scene?

Reactions to the 'Barbie' movie ending

Barbie's exploration of the connection between mother and daughter has also been praised, especially, with its inclusion of Barbie creator, Ruth Handler (played by Rhea Perlman) and her line: "We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back to see how far they've come,"—along with the film's final montage that featured clips of growing up and girlhood (which if you didn't know, were actually supplied by cast and crew members)...


♬ What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture "Barbie"] - Billie Eilish

♬ What Was I Made For? [From The Motion Picture "Barbie"] - Billie Eilish

Reactions to Alan in the 'Barbie movie

Alan was also the surprise star of the movie...

Reactions to the toxic masculinity in 'Barbie'

Of course, another major theme of Barbie was underlining the toxic masculinity and misogyny prevalent in our society. We saw Ken portrayed as 'just Ken', with Greta herself explaining that she wanted to show a flipped version of the world, where hey— it's actually not so great being seen as just an accessory. 

We then see Ken go through his own journey of self-discovery, when he comes face to face with the patriarchy in the real world, which he then subsequently brings to Barbieland, transforming it into 'Kendom.'

After the Barbies then take back control, we see Barbie comfort Ken as he cries—and confesses that he didn't even like the patriarchy anyway, but doesn't want to feel like the other, he just wants to be Kenough.

The film finishes with Ken and Barbie going their separate ways because neither of them needs the validation of the other. 

And while some felt the portrayal of Ken was 'anti-man,' or made him out to be the villain, it's actually very much the opposite, as one movie-goer points out: "It literally showed that the patriarchy harms both men and women and the conclusion for ken's character is that he is enough just as he is, he doesn't have to pretend to be a big macho guy nor does he have to he depend on barbie, he's just ken."

While another added: "How are people coming to the conclusion that Barbie is an anti-man film? It literally goes out of its way to show how toxic masculinity is damaging for men and that they don't need to be what society expects of them. This film literally has a positive message for men."

"When Barbie says to Ken that he is not defined by his girlfriend, a car or any other thing, it shows how the patriarchy also affects men and how their validation generally comes from "achievements", explained a third.

And as for my thoughts, (Hi—Lifestyle Writer, Naomi here) I just wanted to add that I've never related to a scene more than the one with the BBC's Pride and Prejudice...


♬ original sound - Barbie Movie
Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.