Tiny Shoulders, Rethinking Barbie

Critics Consensus

A thoughtful rumination on beauty standards and feminism, Tiny Shoulders goes beyond plastic observations to create an even-handed examination of Barbie's role in the broader culture.



Total Count: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 17
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Movie Info

A survey of 60 years of women in popular culture through the lens of the iconic doll features interviews with Gloria Steinem, Roxane Gay, Peggy Orenstein, Mattel insiders and cultural historians, and reveals fly-on-the-wall observations of Barbie's current architects and women's fight for equality.


Critic Reviews for Tiny Shoulders, Rethinking Barbie

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (3)

  • But the most fascinating aspect of the movie is how it uses Barbie as a metaphor for a culture that's still infinitely more preoccupied with what a woman looks like than what she says.

    May 1, 2018 | Full Review…
  • There's some lovely filmmaking-an opening sequence in which a handmade Barbie moves from stage to stage, from hair-weaving to lip-painting, is gorgeous.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Nevins does quick work of making her audience care about the earning potential of a multi-million dollar business by honing in on some other remarkable women.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Kate Erbland

    Top Critic
  • "Tiny Shoulders" captures, per its title, the immense burden Barbie has had to bear as the nexus for all sorts of prickly debates - about body-shaming, stereotyping and workplace/domestic roles - that, to this day, have yet to be fully resolved.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Full Review…

    Nick Schager

    Top Critic
  • By two-thirds in, Tiny Shoulders starts to feel like a publicity exercise for the brand - an attempt to humanize the company by showing us the real women behind all that plastic.

    Apr 26, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The result is a thoughtful, nuanced portrait of (for better or worse) an American icon.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tiny Shoulders, Rethinking Barbie

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