The New Barbie Trailer Makes It Clear That Greta Gerwig Is A Proper Barbie Nerd In Every Way

There currently isn't a way for me to translate the sound of 100,000 million people shrieking in delight as the opening sentence of this piece, so feel free to use your imagination and pretend that the moment you clicked on this headline, you were greeted by a chorus of fangirl excitement. The second trailer for Greta Gerwig's highly anticipated cinematic adventure, "Barbie" arrived today, and it looks like a dream come true for anyone who spent hours building worlds and planning dreams with the world's favorite fashion doll. It's impossible to quantify the impact Barbie has had on the world, particularly the world of young women and girls, and that puts an immense amount of pressure on Gerwig's shoulders.

Not only is it a huge deal that Barbie is finally making her proper, live-action cinematic debut, but her status as an American icon for over half of a century means this movie needs to appease generations of Friends of Barbie. Tackling the world of Barbie is no easy task, and considering they almost completely whiffed it back in 2016 with an Amy Schumer-led project, it's such a relief to see a hot pink confirmation that Greta Gerwig was the perfect director for the job.

The entire Barbie brand has greatly evolved over the years, reckoning with her less-than-stellar past by embracing diversity, developing a lifestyle vlog, and a playful dose of self-deprecating humor. Based on this new trailer, Gerwig has done the same, making clear that she is a dyed-in-the-wool Barbie girl.

Barbie is for everyone

While I could certainly wax poetic about the absolute aesthetic perfection that is the production and costume design of "Barbie," the vibrant explosion of color is just the beginning. Playing into the lore that a majority of the dolls are named Barbie and Ken regardless of their physical appearances, Gerwig has continued the canon that Barbie is for everyone. Issa Rae is starring as presidential Barbie, but many die-hard fans are speculating that she might be Brooklyn Barbie, with Margot Robbie as Malibu Barbie. For those unaware, there are two Barbara "Barbie" Roberts — the blonde from Malibu and a Black woman from Brooklyn. They're also best friends because of course, and Brooklyn has become a main character in the Barbie vlogs and direct-to-video animated movies.

The character posters released have familiar faces like Skipper, Christie, Kelly, and Stacie noticeably absent, but plenty of Barbies and Kens to reflect the modern, more progressive era of the characters. Hilariously, Michael Cera and Emerald Fennell have been confirmed as playing Allan and Midge, two characters who have been around almost as long as the OG Barbie herself. Allan was introduced in 1964 as "Barbie's Boyfriend Ken's Friend," and later as "Alan," a partner for Barbie's friend Midge. The redhead came under fire in 2002 when she got pregnant, throwing weirdo parents into outrage for being too young to have a child. Gerwig tapped into this controversy by choosing to present Midge in all her "Midge & Baby Happy Family Barbie" glory.

This is clearly a Barbie world honoring both Mattel's history and the advancements in inclusive representation.

Barbie is using play logic

Two moments in particular stuck out as evidence Gerwig's "Barbie" will capture the same energy as playing with Barbie dolls as a child. The first moment is when Ryan Gosling's Ken asks Robbie's Barbie if he could come over to stay the night. Robbie has a gorgeous, joyful smile plastered across her face and the type of wide-eyed wonderment perfect for hiding the fact there's not a single thought in that head of hers. Neither Barbie nor Ken has any idea what they would be doing all night if he came over, which harkens to the days of having similar conversations with my Barbie dolls, parroting lines I'd heard on TV, and having absolutely no clue what any of it meant. I was also definitely one of those baby lesbians who often made my Barbies scissor despite having no idea it was a "lesbian" thing. I'm never beating these "born gay" allegations, huh?

But that brings me to the point of Kate McKinnon's busted well-loved Barbie. As much as we all like to pretend that we were all well-behaved little ones who treated our Barbies with love and respect, that simply isn't true. So many poor Barbies were terrorized over the years, becoming victims of safety scissor haircut massacres and Roseart-stained makeovers, having feet and hands that were chewed to death by kids growing in their adult teeth, and that's not even accounting for the curiosity surrounding crackling knees and popping off heads. Rough play is a normal part of childhood development, so seeing a Barbie constantly in the splits (probably cause we kept making them scissor all the time) is weirdly affirming to so many destructive Barbie players. Her mismatched outfit is also a testament to the creativity of childhood. She's perfect. I love her.

Okay, but seriously, THE AESTHETIC

I know I said I wasn't going to wax poetic about the art design, but I've changed my mind. When we got our first look at Ryan Gosling as Ken, I spent way, way too much time overanalyzing his aesthetic and believe him to be based on the current era of Himbo Ken who arrived after he and Barbie rekindled their relationship back in 2011 after an extended separation so Ken could work on himself and Barbie could enjoy some much-needed independence. But every frame of the "Barbie" trailer could only have been concocted by someone who loves, respects, and has possibly obsessed over the world of Barbie. Every building looks like something I would have circled on a holiday Toys "R" Us wishlist, every outfit is something I would have pined after on store shelves, and it all looks as close as possible to something that was already put out by Mattel.

When set photos leaked showing Robbie and Gosling were sporting the Hot Skatin' Barbie look from the 1990s, people went wild. It's predictable and almost required to see Robbie rocking the iconic black and white bathing suit that Barbie wore when she first hit shelves in 1959, but it takes a genuine fan to draw on the look of a doll that was released after the original version, Rollerblade Barbie, had to be recalled because the blade wheels sparked and were a legitimate fire hazard. And no one should be surprised. This is Greta Gerwig, we're talking about here, the same director who wrote an impassioned, personalized letter to Justin Timberlake to gain permission to use his music in "Lady Bird." Sure, she's got "mumblecore" roots and directed an Academy Award-winning adaptation of "Little Women," but Gerwig is a Barbie girl at heart, and this trailer made it a fact.

"Barbie" opens in theaters on July 21, 2023.