Artwork for podcast Challenge. Change.
Barbie's Existential Crisis and the Philosophy Behind it with Professor Wiebke Deimling
Episode 2126th July 2023 • Challenge. Change. • Clark University
00:00:00 00:08:37

Share Episode


Why are humans so drawn to fiction? It’s a question philosophy Professor Wiebke Deimling has researched, and a query that applies well to “Barbie,” the summer blockbuster that follows the iconic plastic doll as she travels from Barbie Land to the “real world” in search of answers after experiencing “irrepressible thoughts of death.” 

“The film gives a pretty heavy answer: We engage in fiction because the real world is super hard to deal with,” says Deimling. “There's an interesting layer to that concept in the Barbie movie, because it explores both Barbie as a fictional character, but also this prop that we use to make fictional worlds.” Deimling analyzes Barbie’s existential crisis. Fiction is an important part of human nature, she says, because it allows people to imagine experiences they’ll never have in real life — like seeing Barbie and Ken rollerblading along Venice Beach. 

Challenge. Change. is produced by Andrew Hart and Melissa Hanson for Clark University. Listen and subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Find other episodes wherever you listen to podcasts.