(this one might be worth the audio)
Whole heartedly agree that this line missed the mark. I wonder if they were trying to get at future generations standing on the shoulders of giants or something like that. I think there were several places in the movie (the famous monologue for example) where the writing could have been way better
Yes to every word of this!!!! The idea that we are "done" so our kids can go farther is ridiculous!
Exactly this!!!! Thank you for expressing it so beautifully!!!
👏🏻 I smiled and smiled reading this and had a hell yer! No standing still!!!
That line really bothered me too. Thanks for unpacking it!
I loved - I mean, LOVED - this movie, but that line filled me with rage. I've seen 'Barbie' seven times (I know, embarrassing), & each time that line has come around, I've looked for a deeper (better?) meaning (because I thought, given Greta's whole deal, surely it can't mean what it sounds like it means?), but I can't find it. And, because I've seen so many mothers say the line made them cry, I keep asking the ones I know, "What does this line even *mean* to you?," but no one really gets it. It seems like total nonsense to me - like, what does it even mean *in the context of the scene*? Even if I take it totally at face value, to mean mothers are martyrs who "stand still," it feels like it comes totally out of nowhere, like it was spliced in to sound "profound."
(The most charitable interpretation I've heard is that she's saying mothers have to let go of their daughters/creations, let them become humans of their own & experience all the joys & sorrows of humanity, which is a beautiful idea for that particular scene, but also...it's not what she said. If that's what she meant, that's what she should have said, haha.)
Anyway, I've been thinking & talking about this for weeks, so thanks for writing about it & for letting me read others' feelings & air my own in this comment section, haha. :)
That's what I keep going back to - was it an oversight? Was it intentional? It seems like too pivotal a point in the movie to have been in oversight... So what was she trying to say with that?
I had this exact same reaction to that line! I whipped out my phone and wrote it down in all caps in an email to myself, right there in the theater, because I thought about writing this exact essay. But you beat me to it (thanks, summer cold that has lasted TEN DAYS). I thought that line stood in such stark contrast to the messaging of the entire rest of the film...it felt like such an outlier!
Ahhhh thank you! I felt something off about it too but didn’t have the energy to articulate.
Yeeeeessss! That line broke my heart, and you're right -- no one is talking about it!! We do not stand still. Period.
The complex experience of motherhood. Holy work always
I love that we are all going through our own and collective experiences of motherhood. I read all your posts. I feel like my little corner is a little different, but there’s an activist part of me in there, and I resonate with you very much in your fight and desire to love people. I spent years fighting for those on the outskirts in my role as a counslor.
For now, my constant job is that of caring for my two babies under two. My son, born in May, with Down Syndrome, and the doctors weren’t sure he would make it during my pregnancy. I see myself wanting to be more even as I feel myself doing less in the world now, if that makes sense. For now. I am still a dreamer, thinker, writer, but this time the posts come slower and with many typos as I run the race before me.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here :).
I really did not like that line! I am so surprised that no one else has commented on it. Thanks for pointing it out!
VERKLEMPT. And also, you put words precisely to the reaction I had to that line, which bothered and niggled. This says the "why" so well!
Yes, yes, 1,000 times YES. It gutted me when she said that, because all I could think was “but I’m not done yet...”. Thanks for writing this and putting it into words so well.
Yes! I wasn’t sure to make of that line! I remember being like... what? I still think it’s weird the way it’s worded but I loved this take (and you know I love your book😘)