Issa Rae Was Worried Her Body Wouldn’t Be 'Barbie-Ready' Ahead Of The 'Barbie' Movie
Celebrity News

Issa Rae Was Worried Her Body Wouldn’t Be 'Barbie-Ready' Ahead Of The 'Barbie' Movie

If there’s a President Barbie world run by actress Issa Rae, then I absolutely want to live in it. The Insecure creator has had a fairytail trajectory from shooting her own YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl, to becoming thatgirl on the big screen in this summer’s box office smash, Barbie. And while she easily has the most epic glow-up of our generation, the 38-year-old isn’t afraid to speak on the pressure she felt to be “Barbie-ready.”

In a recent interview with Glamour, Issa Rae opened up about her challenges with body image taking a toll on her preparation to play President Barbie following the end of her hit HBO series, Insecure.

“Right before [the role came to me], I was post-Insecure, post–Rap Sh!t, and post-the-final-season-of-Insecure-press-tour,” she recalls to the publication. “I was like, ‘Well, I'm going to let myself go. I'm eating everything.’ And then I got the call to do Barbie and was like, ‘Oh, no, I am not Barbie-shape ready.’”

Thankfully, Rae realized that the reimagined Barbie world that director Greta Gerwig was creating reflected bodies of all shapes and sizes. “So, while I was still on my fitness journey, I felt less insecure about my Barbie body or lack thereof,” she says.

Rae’s “youthful, fun” and fresh take on the president is one that is inspired by the childhood version that she always envisioned. Growing up, she remembers how her mother and aunties making a point to give her Black Barbies made her “hyperaware” of her Blackness from an early age, which served as a gift in representation that she understood as she came of age.

“In some ways, I was made hyperaware of my Blackness because of how intense my mom and aunt were about, ‘We're giving you Black Barbies,” she shares. “They said, ‘It's important for you to play with dolls that look like you,’ which I didn't really understand. I was like, ‘Okay, more toys, thank you.’”

She continues, “I never played with Christie. I don't think I knew about Christie until later. It was just Barbie with blackface kind of, and it didn't necessarily have Black features. It didn't really mean anything to me until I got older and understood why it was so important for my mom and aunt for me to have this.”

What is expected to be a “self-aware” take on Barbie’s existential experience, the new Barbie movie imitates life in a way that represents the full spectrum of what Barbies of today would look like. With actresses like America Ferrera, Margot Robbie, and Alexandra Shipp all starring in the film, Rae emphasizes that no matter her shade or background, there’s a Barbie in this Barbie world for you.

“Everyone in Barbie Land is a perfect Barbie. I found that so beautiful,” she says. “Almost everyone in the world is represented in some way here. That's not an easy piece. I'm sure someone might be like, ‘Where am I?’ But know that there was such an effort made to have Barbie Land be inclusive.”

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Shipt




This article is in partnership with SheaMoisture

Black women and their natural hair is often a shared experience with one another, and SheaMoisture knows all about it. That’s why they have launched the SheaMoisture Bond Repair Collection. You have your days when your hair is flourishing, and you have your days when the elements in the air are causing an annoying amount of frizz. You have your days when you want to wear a protective style, and you have your days when you want to press your hair. And while there’s nothing wrong with switching things up, all the hair manipulation can cause damage to your luscious locks. This is something that beauty and wellness influencer Chizi Duru can relate to.

When It Comes To Your Life, Please Aim For GOOD. Never PERFECT.

Back when I used to write devotionals three days a week (I did that for over 20 years, by the way), it was wild that, over time, far more than Christians were on the subscription list. Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, folks who were even agnostic and atheist were subscribed. There are various reasons why yet something that I have always said to people who have no interest in following the Bible is, even if it ultimately played out that everything in it was fictional, the Good Book still offers up some great “morals to the story” and food for thought that pretty much all walks of life can benefit from (which is why I enjoy reading books from other faiths myself).