How Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Movie Is a Picture of the Gospel and She Doesn’t Even Know It

I saw the Barbie movie this weekend, it not only emotionally wrecked me, but also reminded me, my identity is in Christ.

You may be shocked that this was my takeaway from a secular film based on a wildly commercialized toy and believe me, I was too… so let me explain.

For a little context (NO SPOILERS I PROMISE), every day for Barbie has always been the best day ever until one day, it wasn’t. She wakes up with bad breath, falls out of her dream house, and trips over her newly flattened feet. According to her fellow Barbies, she’s malfunctioning and needs to go to the “Real World” to figure out why. Barbie’s forced to see the existence of an imperfect world for the first time, and it sends her into a full-blown identity crisis #relatable.

At some point we all come to the realization that our world is in fact very broken. I remember vividly the time my mom sat me down in our kitchen late one night and explained that someone our family implicitly trusted had gotten into trouble and would no longer be allowed in our lives. I didn’t know it then, but that moment in the kitchen would forever impact the way I viewed the world and the people around me.

Maybe like me you can pinpoint a day where the brokenness of the world was made blatantly evident to you. And maybe like me, and like Barbie in the movie, you began to doubt your place, purpose, and everything you’ve ever known.

One constant theme in the film is told through the movies theme song “What Was I Made For?” written by Billie Eilish. While I don’t know Eilish’s stance on faith, this song has the gospel all over it. I found myself relating to the lyrics:

“I used to know, but I’m not sure now, what I was made for. What was I made for?”

When Barbie begins to question everything about herself, she turns to a friend who, in a monologue that made me ugly cry into my popcorn, says:

“We have to be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.”

As a people pleaser who desperately wants to do everything right and be what everyone needs me to be, this hit home in a profound way. It reminded me, regardless of who everyone around me thinks I should be, what the Creator says about who I am, is most important. 

I find myself getting trapped thinking I should be profoundly good, successful, holy, or put together. But what happens when we fall short?

We look to God, our Creator, who has all the answers, and ask, what was I made for?

When you feel like you’re not enough — 1 Corinthians 12:9
When you feel like no one cares — 1 Peter 5:7 and John 17:20-25
When you feel alone — Joshua 1:9
When you feel unnoticed — 1 Peter 2:9
When you feel unimportant — 1 Corinthians 12:27

I’m learning that even though I’m still growing into who my Creator made me to be, what Jesus says about who I am and my true value doesn’t change. I don’t have to be perfectly anything because Jesus, in his life, death, and resurrection, met the standard of perfection on my behalf. (Romans 6:10)

One of the final lines in the movie’s theme song, is this:

“Something I’m not, but something I can be”

It reminds me that I am constantly being shaped and molded by the Creator (2 Corinthians 4:16-17) and my purpose is this: to know him and make him known. And that’s it.

We walk with Jesus as His Spirit guides us to our next step, and we get to trust His goodness all along the way.

We’ve all been Barbie at some point, when our perfect world is flipped upside down, and as believers, we get to fall back into the loving arms of our Creator. Remember today that wherever you are in this season of life, whether you are confident in your calling or fumbling to find your way in the world, you are fully known, loved, and treasured by the One who gave His life for you. (John 3:16-17)

As a Christian, I believe recognizing Jesus in the everyday is just one way we can be in the world and not of it. My thoughts on the Barbie movie are just one example of my faith shaping the way I see and interact in the world around me. If you’re looking for content that blends culture and Christianity, while taking you deeper into your faith, you’ve found it here at Way Nation.

Lauren Daigle Shares Why Our Identity in Christ Matters

P.S. here are some Barbie themed videos I got to make as part of the Digital Team here at Way Nation featuring some of our favorite Christian artists. Enjoy!


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July 27, 2023 11:08 pm

What an inspiring message. Like TobyMac sings, “No matter where I go I know Your love is finding me”. Thanks for writing and sharing.

July 30, 2023 8:08 am

Amazing take on Barbie. Now I want to see the movie. Thank you for the perspective.

Thom Peterson
Thom Peterson
July 30, 2023 10:29 am

Excellent thoughts Thx for sharing!

Heidi K
Heidi K
August 17, 2023 4:45 pm

As a member of the sixty plus crowd, I had no inclination to see the movie. Now, I’m rethinking that decision. Thank you for sharing your insights!

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