Barbie's Big Screen Ban: Hezbollah's Cinema Jihad

Romy Haber

Hezbollah has identified the real menace lurking in the shadows: Barbie. Yes, the iconic doll from Malibu, with her pink convertibles and ever-changing careers, seems to have struck fear into the heart of the militant group.

Hezbollah's Culture Minister is considering a ban on the latest Barbie movie because he allegedly received a report that the movie promotes a lifestyle contradicting “religion and values”. However, the movie doesn't have any risqué scenes, but perhaps the real issue is what it's missing: Ken's four wives and a nod to child marriage.

Nonetheless, this ban is both dangerous and useless.

Dangerous decision

It's hardly a shocker that Hezbollah isn't a fan of Barbie: a plastic icon who adores pink and has the audacity to dream big, becoming an astronaut, doctor, model, or whatever she pleases. Perhaps a hijabi "Fulla" doll, with aspirations of liberating Palestine, would be more to Hezbollah's liking. But since when did Hezbollah get the authority to dictate our cultural choices? If it were up to them, our vibrant Lebanese lifestyle filled with parties, alcohol, fashion, concerts, and festivals would be a thing of the past.

It might begin with a seemingly innocent Barbie movie, but it's a slippery slope from there. As their power grows, we might have to bid adieu to many joys of life. While some might scoff at the idea of making a big deal out of a doll's movie, it's a symbol of a much larger issue.

Censorship is useless

While Hezbollah might not want Barbie on the big screen, the reality is, she's just a few clicks away for anyone with an internet connection. Banning her might make headlines, but it won't keep her out of the hands of those who want to watch. The vast expanse of the internet, with its myriad platforms and channels, ensures that information, once out there, is nearly impossible to suppress. A “Cam” version is already available. Soon enough, the full movie will be in high quality on different platforms.

In short, whether there's a ban or not, we are going to watch Barbie. And Lebanese women will always be “Barbies” who embrace their individuality and femininity, not “controlled and oppressed Fullas”.