Barbie and oracy

Barbie is the most popular film of 2023, but what does it have to do with oracy?

Well, as an oracy expert and movie fan, my favourite film at the moment has to be Barbie. It is written by Greta Gerwig, who I am a new super fan of. It is so clever with its concept of flipping the male dominant world of patriarchy (present in the western culture, so much so that we don’t notice it as the norm) into the matriarchy of Barbie Land.

Presenting females as capable of achieving any position in society and doing any job, it made me think about our “communicate with confidence” workshops that we deliver as part of the Empowering Females Project for Exeter City Council in 2023.

We worked with Year 9 girls to make them this about the patriarchy and how it can affect a female’s mindset. Speaking with confidence is our main message in these workshops and we teach the oracy skills needed to achieve this.

But what does Barbie have to do with oracy?

Half the battle is to think that you are worthy of sharing your opinion and that it matters. One activity looks at how we start our sentence. Do you say? “I am not sure but…” “This might be a good idea….” These all undervalue your message.

We are proud that one of The Oracy Workshops’ Advocates is Elizabeth Stokoe. She has written many books that analyse which words we use and the effect they have. Have a look at her profile on the LSE website! 

So, back to Barbie. The innate confidence that these women have in their life is something we need to instil in our young female learners. Get in touch if you would like to talk to us about how we can help.

Barbie and oracy - photo of a Barbie doll holding some berries

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