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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Barbie, the patriarchy and the joy of creating yourself and your world [Wise Wednesdays]

Barbie, the patriarchy and the joy of creating yourself and your world


So I finally watched it. One of the top 10 films of 2023…


Let’s face it, systemic oppression and the colonial, capitalist patriarchy can be heavy material.


So Barbie, the movie, gets 5 stars from me for making the subject accessible and cathartic. (My biggest surprise researching the movie was discovering that capitalism iconoclast, Prof Noreena Hertz, had joined the board of Mattel last year…But that’s another story.)


Here are the 6 most profoundly enjoyable and cathartic reminders I got while sipping a hot chocolate with Barbie:


1.    Living in patriarchal capitalism is hard on the heart and soul – every day.

2.    Both men and women lose out in the patriarchy - in different ways.

3.    The patriarchy was invented to deal with the discomfort of being human in an uncertain world, by creating an illusion of control.

4.    The patriarchy is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of who we are (protectors, persecutors or victims of life) (Hint: we ARE life).

5.    The cognitive dissonance between who we truly are and the identity we are socialised to perform in the patriarchy creates perpetual anxiety.

6.    Naming this cognitive dissonance is the first step towards liberation.


 [Photo: Me with a Barbie look].


My favourite moment? [Spoiler alert] When Barbie wakes up to her awareness and her ability to choose meaning.  Or as she put it: “I want to be the one making meaning, not the one being made.” This is radical imagination. And that’s why she chose the imperfect human world.


Most people are creating themselves unconsciously from yesterday’s beliefs and scripts without ever questioning them, and wondering why they are stuck.


You have the power to recreate your identity because you are more than your identity. You may think that this sounds impossible. But the truth is you’re always creating yourself. The difference is whether you’re doing it consciously or not.


So while you may not be able to change the weather or the global economy, you can root your actions in your power to choose how this moment occurs to you.


And that makes all the difference to your wellbeing, relationships and life’s work.


Have fun creating yourself and your world this week,


p.s. Want to give your mind a break from the daily trains of thought, give it a deep massage, and enjoy a detox? Join us on March 3rd for 2 transformational hours in the Expand Your Impact virtual room. We’ll be waiting with organic mental essences to nurture your dreams of a kinder future. Book your ticket here >>



2.    Money: Leaders Circle on Money Uncertainty (online) – details coming soon!


3.    Relationships: Cambridge Medical Graduates Society event (London): Dealing with a Toxic Colleague. I’m excited to offer live coaching for doctors at this event for Cambridge alumni. With so much of our time spent at work, having a toxic colleague can be a major source of stress and frustration. This event will provide live coaching with practical strategies for navigating this challenging situation and maintaining your well-being. If you're a Cambridge medical graduate, you can find the details and register here.




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