America Ferrera’s Full ‘Barbie’ Monologue, For Your Reading Pleasure

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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:

“You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead, but you can’t squash other people’s ideas.

You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men’s bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. But always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful.

You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out in fact that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.”

Life in plastic—or actual flesh and blood? It's not always so fantastic.

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Executive Managing Editor

Catrina oversees content production across all PureWow verticals. When she's not managing editorial schedules, digital issues or newsletter production, you can find her...