It’s impossible to be a woman

I don’t remember playing with Barbie’s when I was little. I’m not sure if I was actually allowed to play with them. Growing up, I’ve had a complicated relationship with Barbie, which parallels the complicated relationship I’ve had with myself and other woman.

I was reluctant to see the movie, despite the reputation of filmmaker Greta Gerwig and her phenomenal cast. Why? I’m so weary of the messages about women. I was wrong. It’s a must-see movie.

It brilliantly, beautifully, and humorously tells the truth about what it’s like to be a woman in our world. Perhaps the most powerful moment of the movie was Gloria’s speech sermon about what it’s like to be a woman, as her teenage daughter listened on (performed by the astounding America Ferrera)

Take a breath and read slowly…

It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

“You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood.

“But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.

I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.”

Audiences nationwide have been stunned to silence, surprised by sobbing outbursts, responding with raucous applause. In 331 words, Gloria’s sermon encapsulated the female experience, what it’s like to live under the patriarchy.

Impossible demands. Endless expectations. Double-standards. Constant overwhelming pressure. Ill-fitting boxes to stay within.

You’re not doing everything wrong. Everything is not your fault. The system is rigged against us.

But living in knots is not inevitable. Life in all its fullness is possible.

If this resonates, you’re in the right place. We’re all about righting these wrongs, and learning together how to live freely and lightly. Coaching Groups start in October, and I can’t think of a better way to help you get out of knots … and you get to do it alongside other Barbie Warriors. 😘