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Why Margot Robbie’s Barbie Doesn’t Like Ken Back in Barbie Movie

Spoilers ahead for Barbie.

A trigger for Ryan Gosling’s Ken in Barbie is the fact that Margot Robbie’s Stereotypical Barbie didn’t reciprocate his romantic feelings for her. It leads him to express his agony in a now-viral song (“I’m Just Ken”) and bring patriarchy to Barbie Land in hopes that it’ll change things.

But Robbie’s Barbie never wants to be with him romantically, and while she doesn’t explicitly explain why, fans noticed that the movie does actually give a reason as to why she isn’t interested. One TikTok user posted a video explaining that in the film, Robbie’s Barbie is linked to Gloria’s (America Ferrera’s character) subconscious. When Gloria, her daughter Sasha, and Barbie were en route to Barbie Land, Gloria shared that she never had a Ken doll and didn’t think Barbie needed a Ken. Other users on social media pointed to that same scene as the film’s explanation for Barbie’s disinterest.

Gloria said in it, “Don’t tell him, but I never got a Ken.”

Stereotypical Barbie responded, “That’s because Ken is totally superfluous! I didn’t say that.”

preview for ‘Barbie' Stars Margot Robbie & Kate McKinnon Describe BIG KEN ENERGY | Ask Me Anything | ELLE

Before Barbie came out, Robbie explained to Vogue that she played Barbie as if she didn’t feel sexual desire, which also may have contributed to her lack of feelings for Ken. “I’m like, Okay, she’s a doll. She’s a plastic doll. She doesn’t have organs. If she doesn’t have organs, she doesn’t have reproductive organs. If she doesn’t have reproductive organs, would she even feel sexual desire? No, I don’t think she could,” Robbie said. “[So yes,] she is sexualized. But she should never be sexy. People can project sex onto her. Yes, she can wear a short skirt, but because it’s fun and pink. Not because she wanted you to see her butt.”

Headshot of Alyssa Bailey

Senior News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.

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