TikTok Is Using The Barbie Movie As A Litmus Test For Dating & It's About Time

It's become quite clear that when people look back at summer 2023, likely the first thing that will come to mind is Barbie, Big Barbie Energy, and maybe Ken-ergy, too. But he's just Ken, so does it really matter? Maybe.

On the heels of the massively successful "Barbie" movie, people have started using the film as a way to gauge whether or not the man they're dating is Kenough for the long-term, or even the short-term. As TikToker melbtrippin_ points out, for years women have found themselves listening to men go on and on about the nuances in films like "Fight Club" and "American Psycho," but things are about to change. Now women can ask potential partners one of the most important questions of our time: "What did you think of the 'Barbie' movie?" Their answer can either seal the deal or be a total deal-breaker.

"Barbie" has garnered a lot of attention. Feminists and progressives have praised it for its truthful assessment of the patriarchy, while those who skew conservative have been losing their collective minds over the film's messages. Those messages? Barbie can do anything, Ken is just an accessory, and trans women can be Barbies. Some conservatives claim it preaches an anti-men agenda, which is exactly why "Barbie" should be used as a litmus test. If dudes can't see the film for what it really is — a celebration of women and all they can attain — you may want to take a moment and ponder if that relationship is for you.

How to use the Barbie litmus test

The best part about the litmus test is that it's based on one single factor, so there's no room for a B+ or any other grade that falls somewhere in the middle. It's a simple pass or fail. In using "Barbie" as the litmus test, you don't have to come up with a lot of questions to get to the heart of the matter. You simply ask the man you're seeing what they thought of the film, then sit back and watch as they try to unpack it all — especially the fact that Ken is second to Barbie and is totally cool with that.

This test can be used as a first date question by either suggesting that you two go see "Barbie," or, if a movie on the first date isn't how you roll, you can ask them over drinks if they intend to see it. If their reasons for wanting or not wanting to see it don't sit right with you, then you can make your escape plan. If you're already dating someone or in a relationship, you can use the test to get to know your partner better. Believe it or not, there are some couples who don't talk about the patriarchy and its negative effects on all people — not just women. So inquiring about the themes and seeing how your partner responds can open up a huge dialogue about feminism, toxic masculinity, LGBTQ+ rights (transgender actor Hari Nef plays a Doctor Barbie), and so much more.

Why it matters

No matter your political beliefs, "Barbie" is a conversation starter. As we get closer to the 2024 presidential election, the U.S. becomes more divided, a fact that's apparent even in this summer's big movie releases. According to a Google Trends map, "Oppenheimer" is more popular in predominately blue states, while "Barbie" is popular in red states. Granted, the red states might be interested in "Barbie" so that they can get angry and light Barbie items on fire while giving an exhaustive 40-minute-long tirade about the film (à la conservative commentator Ben Shapiro), but we don't know for sure.

For many people, having a partner who's on the right side of history is paramount. Those who support reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, the LGBTQ+ community, and feminist ideals want to know the person sleeping next to them feels the same about these really important issues. Although "Barbie" can't be a measurement that embodies all these things, the real world in the film is reflective of our often painful reality. In Barbieland, women rule everything, but outside that world, the patriarchy is in control. In asking the man you're dating if he's able to see what "Barbie" is really saying, without manipulating it into some anti-man agenda, then you'll be able to draw your conclusions. Relationships often survive on shared values, so even if it takes a movie about a plastic doll with a penchant for pink to lead to open discussion about those values, that could be a good test for you.