‘She is sexualized. But she should never be sexy’

Life in plastic? It’s fantastic — even without reproductive organs, as Greta Gerwig‘s new Barbie movie will set out to prove.

The filmmaker and Margot Robbie, who stars in the upcoming blockbuster based on Mattel’s iconic line of dolls, recently addressed why the film leaned into an important part of the toys’ anatomies: breasts with no nipples and Kens with smooth bulges.

“You feel that there’s something there, which is part of the allure,” Gerwig, who wrote the film with her partner Noah Baumbach, told Vogue in a new cover story. “It’s unclear how this all kinda works. But it’s not without intrigue.”

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie in 'Barbie'

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’

Warner Bros. Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’

To drive the point home, the magazine pointed to a scene in the movie in which Ken (Ryan Gosling) asks Barbie (Robbie) if he can “stay over” for the night but then the pair conclude that they’re not sure why they feel compelled to sleep in the same space.

“I’m like, ‘Okay, she’s a doll. She’s a plastic doll. She doesn’t have organs. If she doesn’t have organs, she doesn’t have reproductive organs. If she doesn’t have reproductive organs, would she even feel sexual desire?’ No, I don’t think she could,” Robbie explained of her take on Barbie’s sexuality. “She is sexualized. But she should never be sexy. People can project sex onto her… Yes, she can wear a short skirt, but because it’s fun and pink. Not because she wanted you to see her butt.”

While we know few specifics about Gerwig and Baumbach’s storyline, the film’s first pair of teaser trailers previewed what seems to be a satirical tale about Robbie’s titular character traveling from Barbieland to the real world, where she encounters a toy company mogul (Will Ferrell) and a woman (American Ferrera) who changes the course of her life. The footage also referenced Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey and showcased dazzling choreography and an eye-popping color palette throughout.

Barbie — which also stars Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, and pop star Dua Lipa as a mix of Kens and Barbies with different specialties — opens July 21 in theaters.

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