ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

Generally speaking, the menfolk of the internet are divided into two camps.

In one corner, there's the man who abuses, degrades and belittles women based on their physical attributes in an attempt to downplay their achievements and eliminate their perceived threat to the continued dominance of the male race in society, usually by way of a grubby tweet or some other medium of communicating mindless misogyny. In the other, you'll find the man intelligent and secure enough in his own sense of self not to judge woman's suitability for any role from actress to politician on the basis of how much he'd like to fuck her.

This week, the news that Amy Schumer has been cast as Barbie in Sony's upcoming movie based on the famously skinny doll was met with the usual chorus of outrage from trolls on Twitter and across the internet, most of whom argued that a woman of Schumer's body shape — she describes herself as "fat", but rejects the label "plus-size" — couldn't possibly play the pink princess.

And that would be fine, if Sony were making a movie about a woman with freakishly disjointed limbs and zero body fat whose physical shape makes it impossible for her to walk like a regular human being, even though she can hold down a job as an air stewardess (because she's glamorous, silly!). But they're not. In this movie, Schumer's is kicked out of Barbieland and begins a journey of self-discovery which questions the nature of what it means to be beautiful and happy.

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After being on the receiving end of a two-day barrage of misogynistic abuse for daring not to look like Gigi Hadid or Kendall Jenner, posted an Instagram response which held a mirror up to the trolls to perfectly demonstrate why she's precisely the right choice to play Barbie in 2016.

At a time when the media still puts tiny, borderline unhealthy women on a pedestal as the ultimate gold standard, we need women like Schumer. That's why the marriage of actor and role is perfect — Barbie herself represents an insane beauty "ideal." By bringing her into the 21st century, Schumer can both make Barbie relevant again and challenge those voices who say that achieving outdated beauty standards is the only thing that women should hope to aspire to.

Ultimately, like every other storm of controversy surrounding a female casting choice in the last few years, we'll look back on this moment and ask "Really? Why were so many fucks given?" The answer, as Schumer succinctly puts it in her post, is that something's wrong with our culture. But with every victory like this casting, that culture reshapes itself into something a little more progressive, a little less mean.

Go get 'em, Barbie.

Ever changed your mind about a controversial casting choice after seeing the movie in question?


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