It’s Time Real Women Reclaimed Barbie

Actress and comedian Amy Schumer was subjected to vile online body-shaming last week, after it was announced she is to play Barbie in Sony’s new movie. Here, Empire magazine’s editor-in-chief, Terri White, says casting Schumer is a masterstroke

amy schumer

by Grazia |

Let's just admit that it's been a unrelentingly grim year for feminism. Like watching a car crash in slow motion, except you're the one poised to go through the windscreen. One of the big stories was the racist, misogynist social media attacks on Lesley Jones after she was cast in the Ghostbusters reboot - itself the horrific culmination of unhappiness at women taking on the iconic (male) roles.

But 2016 ain't going out like that. We're just months away from a tough-as-tacks version of Wonder Woman and now Amy Schumer will play Barbie in a live-action movie. As you'd expect, not everyone is happy about this, including the website for the 'common man', Barstool Sports, which said, 'Barbie is the definition of perfection. Mattel is completely ruining her image.' Schumer responded to the negativity with, 'I'm honoured to be considered to play an important, evolving icon...I want to thank them for making it so evident that I'm a great choice.' You know what? She is.

Yes, the whip-smart, feminist, rib-cracking, potty-mouthed possessor of boobs and hips is set to play a doll who, if brought to life, would be unable to lift her head or stand on two legs, such are unrealistic proportions. This is nothing less than a revolutionary act on the part of Schumer and those behind the film.

She isn't a size zero (but neither, let's not get this twisted, is she plus-size), she has the same lumps, divots and ripples as the rest of the post-pubescent population. She's also 35 - THIRTY FIVE - and not just landing a great role but one historically defined by youth, as well as impossible beauty.

This will, praise god, most certainly not be the Barbie we know. Schumer will also work on the script (which has already had rewrites from Juno genius Diablo Cody) and, just as she skewered tropes of singledom and female promiscuity in Trainwreck, we're sure to see a beautifully weird, completely relevant reimagining of this most cliched of females (there's literally nothing in her head) who - gasp - may be designed to appeal to women rather than men.

Instead of the sweet bimbo we clutched in the playground, lasses yet to be born could pick up a doll that is associated with intelligence, independence and verve. And possibly even a sick and twisted sense of humour. See: revolutionary.

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