It is the summer of Barbie, and we're all just living in her world. Here are some books inspired by the new movie.
Barbie: Diving Deeper
The Barbie Movie promises to explore ideas of identity, feminism, and how society relates to girls and women. Dive into these essays, memoirs, and more to follow those themes.
"Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls" by Mary Bray Pipher
Director Greta Gerwig has said her script for the Barbie movie is partially based on this book that came out in 1994. Pipher writes about the experiences of teen girls she saw as a therapist, and asks, "What can we do to help them? We can strengthen girls so that they will be ready. We can encourage emotional toughness and self-protection. We can support and guide them. But most important, we can change our culture. We can work together to build a culture that is less complicated and more nurturing, less violent and sexualized and more growth-producing. Our daughters deserve a society in which all their gifts can be developed and appreciated. I hope this book fosters a debate on how we can build that society for them."
"Girlhood: Essays" by Melissa Febos
"When her body began to change at eleven years old, Febos understood immediately that her meaning to other people had changed with it. By her teens, she defined herself based on these perceptions and by the romantic relationships she threw herself into headlong. Over time, Febos increasingly questioned the stories she'd been told about herself and the habits and defenses she'd developed over years of trying to meet others' expectations ... Blending investigative reporting, memoir, and scholarship, Febos charts how she and others like her have reimagined relationships and made room for the anger, grief, power, and pleasure women have long been taught to deny." - catalog description
"Don't Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life" by Peggy Orenstein
"Orenstein takes on reproductive justice, the infertility industry, tensions between working and stay-at-home moms, pink ribbon fear-mongering and the complications of girl culture ... 'Don't Call Me Princess offers a crucial evaluation of where we stand today as women – in our work lives, sex lives, as mothers, as partners – illuminating both how far we've come and how far we still have to go." - catalog description
"More Than Enough" by Elaine Welteroth
"Part-manifesto, part-memoir, from the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue, an exploration of what it means to come into your own—on your own terms Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey. ... As a young boss and often the only Black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough." - catalog description
"Untamed" by Glennon Doyle
Barbie begins to question the reality she's been told to accept and sets out to find her own way. Explore that theme in this memoir about writer Glennon Doyle's journey to find herself while falling in love with her future wife, pro-soccer player Abby Wambach.
Interested to learn more about the iconic doll's history? These books offer a deeper look.
"Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her" by Robin Gerber
Learn the history behind Barbie and her creator, Ruth Handler, a business woman, breast cancer survivor, humanitarian, and entrepreneur.
"The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll's History and Her Impact On Us" by Tanya Lee Stone
Learn the history of the doll and how she came to be, as well as more about her cultural impact.
"The Complete and Unauthorized Guide to Vintage Barbie Dolls: With Barbie and Skipper Fashions and the Whole Family of Barbie Dolls" by Hillary Shilkitus James
Revel in Barbie nostalgia with this exhaustive guide to Barbie and company from their debut in 1959 through 1972.
Margo Robbie has been on a press tour that includes life-sized recreations of some of Barbie's most iconic looks, and "Barbie-core" is all the rage right now.
"Pink" by Lisa Cregan
Embrace Barbie-core's celebration of all things pink with this photo-filled interior design guide.
"Dressing Barbie: A Celebration of the Clothes that Made America's Favorite Doll, and the Incredible Woman Behind Them" by Carol Spencer
Explore Barbie's eye-catching fashion with these photos and the story of the woman who created many of the doll's signature styles.
"Our Shoes, Our Selves: 40 Women, 40 Stories, 40 Pairs of Shoes" by Bridget Moynahan and Amanda Benchley
In the movie, a Barbie played by Kate McKinnon offers Margo Robbie's Barbie a choice of two shoes: one of Barbie's traditional high heels, or a Birkenstock. The choice is implied to be imbued with meaning. Dive deeper into that theme with this book that features stories from women like Bobbi Brown, Danica Patrick, Misty Copeland, Christiane Amanpour, Katie Couric, Rupi Kaur, Maya Lin, and Gretchen Rubin. It invites you to step into the lives of these women and walk a little bit in their shoes.