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The Pitt News

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

Mimesis | The Barbie Cinematic Universe: On Upbringing and Orchards

In this week’s edition of Mimesis, staff writer Chloe Woodruff recounts Barbie’s twenty-three-year-old film repertoire and its role in relieving existential dread.
Mimesis+%7C+The+Barbie+Cinematic+Universe%3A+On+Upbringing+and+Orchards
Nicholas Cassano | Staff Illustrator

Sylvia Plath famously wrote in “The Bell Jar” that the narrator, Esther, saw all her possible futures as fruits on a fig tree. She envisioned herself as an academic, a career woman and a mother. Unable to decide on one future, she doesn’t reach for a single fruit. The figs all withered and fell to the ground. Plath’s works are dark and realistic vignettes of life as a woman, but our idea of the perfect life need not limit itself to a single, figgy flavor.

Animated Barbie movies first graced the public in 2001, and the DVD editions have gathered dust in my home ever since. And by dust, I mean my everlasting and adoring praises. Embarrassing? Perhaps. But my taste? Immaculate.

The films all break the fourth wall, casting Barbie herself as Odette, Annika, Genevieve and Elina. She plays ballerinas, fairies and princesses. She designs fashion and forms friendships so perfect they cure all the ills of the world. 

Barbie’s many lives are coated in pink glitter, accompanied by talking animals, and they all end with the happy assertion that things worked out. 

Nested in each film is some lesson about selflessness, friendship, morality and hope. In a broader sense, Barbie dabbles in a multitude of professions, but her character is what remains intact.

I suppose the lesson is for little girls to grow into ambitious, goodhearted people. But as an adult woman, I prefer to read these films as a reminder that you can be a pop star one day and a musketeer the next. Or perhaps even a fairy and a mermaid at the same time?

I don’t think it’s necessary to spin these movies made for children into gospel for the grown. However, I have a particularly rich history with one of the most magical of the bunch — “Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus.”

Princess Annika finds herself on a quest to save her parents from a sorcerer named Wenlock. On her journey, she meets a pegasus named Brietta, who is actually her sister under a spell. As always, the day is saved and her parents are freed. 

Besides the pastel purples and glorious costume changes, the movie was also home to one of the most influential quotes that still haunts me to this day.

There’s a scene in which Annika falls victim to an ogre’s trap. The ogre — named Ollie — threatens to eat his prisoner because “Ollie like lunch.” Yeah, banger after banger in this script.

My mom thought this brief subplot was the pinnacle of humor and has yet to let the quote die. I’m no better, I still laugh every time. It’s absurd and it’s lowbrow and it is my childhood. No moral of this story wisely states how Barbie taught me I could be whatever I wanted. 

Rather, I think the animated Barbie movies are a testament to taking a little bite out of many figs. You’ll be so satisfied you won’t even miss the fruit your appetite couldn’t quite stomach. Barbie is just a girl saving the day the way she knows how. Her figs are deciding between fairy wings or a mermaid tail, but she dabbles in both and is better off for it.

Deciding what to do with your life is just another evil henchman in the proverbial Barbie story. There will always be another antagonizing force to handle, so put your convenient pink outfit on and go deal with it as Barbara would.

The Barbie Cinematic Universe is a lovely little guide to growing up. Don’t take things too seriously, be nice to people, do what scares you and sing when you can. You know, the important stuff.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to your future, so be a ballerina for a little while. Don’t worry, your ice skates are here when you need ‘em.

I think it’s worth realizing sooner rather than later that figs aren’t the only fruit out there. Turn around and you’ll have the whole orchard at your mercy. You can’t stop the flowers from blooming and the fruit from ripening, but who’s stopping you from coming back next spring?

About the Contributor
Chloe Woodruff, Staff Writer
Chloe is an English Writing and Philosophy major with a love-hate relationship with reading. Ironically, she primarily blogs about literature and narratives across mediums.  Write to her at  or check out her Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/chlobees