It was the monologue heard around the world. On July 21, 2023, the long-awaited Barbie movie finally made landfall, garnering rave reviews and sold-out shows across the country. A tsunami of pink and plastic, the fervor for this breakout summer film could be felt just about everywhere, from over-the-top brand collabs (hello, “pink burger”) to Barbiecore wardrobe overhauls. Though the performances of Margot Robbie and her army of Barbies put our Polly Pockets to shame (and Ken was, well, Ken), the unsung hero of the film turned out to have no blonde extensions or permanently high heels.
In the lead-up to B-Day, not much was revealed about America Ferrera’s character, Gloria. As a Mattel employee and mom struggling to connect with her teenage daughter, Gloria is without a doubt the most dynamic character of the film. Her sketches of Cellulite Barbie? Thoughts of Impending Death Barbie? I mean, come on, brilliant. But it’s Ferrera’s soon-to-be (if not already) iconic monologue that truly stole the show.
Written by director Greta Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach (who also happens to be her life partner), the passionate speech rails on the double standards all women face today. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Ferrera reveals the monologue scene took two days to shoot and more than “30 to 50 full runs” to finally get it right. “Truly, every take was very different,” she explained. “There were takes that leaned into anger. There were takes that leaned into laughter. It really did, over the course of filming, find a shape. It was about just staying as present in the moment and just seeing really where the words would take it.”
And take shape it did. Without further ado, let’s let this woman speak: