cereta: Talia from the cover of "The Stepsister Scheme" (Talia)
[personal profile] cereta
I can't quite believe I'm posting this, but...

We recently purchased a few Barbie DVDs for my daughter. And you know...I kind of like them. They're not perfect. There's a lot of pink (I have suddenly had an epiphany of just how much '80's fashion was based on what 4-6 year-olds like), and fashion creeps its way into the unlikeliest storylines. But!

1. Particularly in the most recent ones, Barbie, or rather the characters she plays (Corinne, Merliah, etc) is a mover and shaker and a go-getter. And she is always the central character.

2. You would be surprised how very, very seldom the central storyline involves romance. Of the three we own (A Fashion Fairytale, The Three Musketeers, A Mermaid Tale), romance is a comedic subplot in the first, barely hinted at in the second (and actually kind of rejected in favor of adventure), and completely absent in the third - there's not even a male character for romance to happen with.

3. Which brings me to - each and every one I've seen passes the Bechdel test handily. There are multiple women characters, and in several, men are the sort of tokens you usually see women being in kids movies.

4. The Three Musketeers has a overtly feminist message. And if the bit with the fans and ribbons as weapons was probably about marketing, I liked it in the same way I liked the plates as weapons in the Dark Tower series.

I don't want to overstate the case. They're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But in a world where movies for kids with female protagonists are thin on the ground, you could do worse.

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