The Powerful America Ferrera’s ‘Barbie’ Monologue About Being a Woman

In Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, America Ferrera delivers a show-stopping monologue towards the end, earning applause from some audiences. At 39, Ferrera portrays Gloria, the only female employee at Mattel, alongside her daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt). Together, they save Barbie Land from a patriarchal takeover orchestrated by Ken (Ryan Gosling). Through her powerful words, Gloria addresses the complex and challenging experiences of being a woman in modern society.

During the film, Gloria’s monologue inspires the other Barbies in Barbie Land to break free from the brainwashing imposed by Ken’s “Kendom.” Greta Gerwig recalled an emotional atmosphere on the set during the scene’s filming, with both men and women shedding tears, each grappling with their own unspoken struggles and societal expectations.

Below, you can read the full text of Gloria’s speech, as delivered by America Ferrera in the film and previously published by Entertainment Tonight.

The Monologue

“It is literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we’re always doing it wrong.

“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.

“I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don’t even know.”

According to The Cut, Greta Gerwig took charge of writing the monologue herself (although the film was co-written with her partner, Noah Baumbach). She and America Ferrera collaborated closely on it, exchanging text messages related to the monologue over several months. They worked tirelessly until they arrived at the final version that was eventually filmed.

Ferrera shared with Vanity Fair that the monologue was one of the first things Gerwig mentioned to her even before she read the script. Greta expressed, “I wrote this monologue for Gloria, and I’ve always imagined you saying this.”

The actress further revealed that she dedicated a considerable amount of effort to perfecting the scene, stating that she must have done “probably 30 to 50 full runs of it, top to bottom” during filming.

Currently, Barbie is playing in theaters.

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