Barbie, the most highly-anticipated blockbuster movie in recent history, features a diverse cast, including trans icon and actress Hari Nef. Nef will bring Doctor Barbie to life and hopes to represent the “dolls,” in reference to both Barbie and a phrase used for trans women.
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“As a trans girl, it’s easy to get caught up in big dreams of what you’ll become. And it’s inevitable that you’ll get struck down by external messages and obstacles of what you’ll never be and what you won’t be able to do,” Nef told Out Magazine.
“You’re caught constantly between striving for perfection and recoiling from rejection. It’s hard.”
While the film is pretty and pink, Nef hopes that trans girls understand that there are many ways to celebrate womanhood and being oneself.
“As much as there’s a celebration of femininity and being a girl in this [movie], there’s also an encouragement of letting go of the checklist we ascribe to living and living your life, and being in your body, your way, on your own terms,” she continued.
“The best that we can do as women, as trans women, is be there for [one another] and take ourselves at face value, without relying on the green light from anyone else.”
Greta Gerwig, the director of the film, stated that this movie would not be possible without the LGBTQ+ community.
“We are opening the doors to the Barbie universe,” Gerwig told Out in a separate interview. “There’s no way we could have told this story without bringing in the LGBTQ+ community, and it was important for us to represent the diversity that Mattel has created with all of the different Barbies and Kens that exist today.”
Nef is hoping to see even more layers of the trans community featured in film.
“I’m excited to tell stories about trans people that aren’t merely redemptive, that aren’t rooted in transition or discovery,” she said. “I’m excited for trans assholes on-screen. I’m excited for trans antiheroes on-screen. I’m excited for trans scammers on-screen. I’m excited for trans sex on screen. I’m excited for trans nudity on-screen.”
“There’s a lot of things that we haven’t actually really seen yet,” she concludes. “I’m hoping that I can be a part of that and bring the girls, the boys, and everyone else with me. If they make it first, I hope they’ll bring me.”