The year 2023 was dominated by the BarbenHeimer premiers that resulted in record-breaking cinema attendance, even locally. Barbie grossed $1.4 billion globally, achieving the highest worldwide earnings ever for a live-action film, directed by a woman.
This year, Barbie made it for Forbes’ 2023 Power Women List as number 100, making it the first fictional character that made it on the list, among some of the most prominent leaders, politicians and celebrities of the world.
“Barbie may be a doll, but in 2023, she became much more,” Forbes said.
Forbes acknowledges that in these challenging periods where the world is facing unprecedented wars, environmental challenges, threats to democracy and women’s rights, such a decision might be viewed as controversial. However, it added, the difficulties in changing the obstacles are why barbie was chosen for the list.
Forbes expanded that it became a symbol of female empowerment, “to become an avatar for the necessity of fighting to recapture power that’s been taken away. She inspired girls and their mothers for generations, but this was the year women needed her most.”
Additionally, gathering experts input on the significance of Barbie, Forbes highlighted how even when created originally, Barbie served as a source of inspiration. Barbie, through its customisation in clothing served as symbol for girls to aspire to have different careers.
“As arbiters of the Power List, we acknowledge that Barbie can’t restore American’s reproductive rights, reopen girls’ schools in Afghanistan, bestow liberty on Iranian women or save women in Gaza and Ukraine from the devastation of man-made bombs. Only women in political, economic, and institutional power can do that,” Forbes added.
Nonetheless, it added that Barbie can give a voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless through her ability to inspire.
Who are the most prominent figures on the list and why?
For Forbes’ 20th annual edition of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, it decided to include women from different worlds.
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