Britain's strictest head says Barbie is 'two dimensional and false'August 8, 2023
Barbie film branded ‘two-dimensional’ by ‘Britain’s strictest head’ – who says girls should be allowed to grow up without thinking ‘white men are against them’
- Katharine Birbalsingh, who’s regularly dubbed ‘Britain’s strictest headteacher’, saw the film while in New York
- Read more: New Barbie dolls inspired by Greta Gerwig movie are revealed by Mattel – including Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling’s rollerblading looks
The teacher dubbed ‘Britain’s strictest head’ has offered a scathing verdict on the Barbie film, calling it ‘two-dimensional and false’.
Katharine Birbalsingh, founder of the Michaela School in Wembley, West London, caught the cinematic hit while on a trip to New York, but has given Greta Gerwig’s film short shrift, saying it has a ‘reductive narrative’.
The British teacher criticised the blockbuster, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, for pitting men against women, saying ‘It isn’t helpful to encourage all of us to view society through this lens.’
Barbie grossed $529 million in its first week and has been widely praised for its cast, storyline and feminist themes.
Not impressed: British headteacher Katherine Birbalsingh slammed the new Barbie film after seeing it in New York, saying Greta Gerwig’s film had a ‘reductive narrative’
Addressing her 135,600 Twitter followers, using her handle @Miss_Snuffy she wrote:: ‘Imagine a similar film was made with blacks and whites pitted against each other, the way men and women are at war, in Barbie. People would be rightly outraged.’
Ms Birbalsingh added that she ‘believes wholeheartedly in girl power’ but said ‘I embrace girl power without being at war with men, or needing sameness.’
The headteacher concluded: ‘By all means point out prejudice when you see it (and ignore the idiots who tell you that you are therefore screaming victimhood).
‘But my advice is to try to lead a fulfilling life without thinking entire groups (ie white men) are against you.’
Ms Birbalsingh frequently speaks out on social media on the headlines, particularly those affecting education and young people.
She first came to fame with a speech at the 2010 Conservative Party Conference, in which she railed at a ‘broken’ state school system that ‘keeps poor children poor’.
Later, she became a champion of Michael Gove’s Free Schools policy and more recently was appointed chair of the first Social Mobility Commission.
In June, the head revealed that she’d been informed of a child at a school in the UK identifying as a gay male hologram – adding that she also knew of another school where a group of students identified as cats.
She claimed the ‘issue’ was widespread but that people are unaware because teachers are ‘not allowed to tell you’.
Birbalsingh is the founder of the Michaela School in West London and has been dubbed ‘Britain’s strictest head’
The headteacher, who said she has no pupils identifying as animals at her own school, said it is a ‘societal problem’ where teachers and parents have allowed children to lead the way.
Her comments come after a recording revealed the moment a schoolteacher branded a Year 8 pupil ‘despicable’ after they rejected a classmate’s claim that she identified as a cat.
Ms Birbalsingh says parents should act quickly if schools tolerated children wanting to be recognised as animals.
She told the Telegraph: ‘As a society we have lost our way. Teachers and parents have allowed children to lead the way and adult authority has completely dissolved.
‘We are scared of our children, we are scared of our responsibility of leading, and we are shying away from our duty of looking after our children.
‘For parents of children who are allowed to behave like this in classrooms, I think they need to move schools quickly. I don’t want to blame the school, because I think it’s society’s problem, but there will be schools that are more tolerant of this kind of behaviour and schools that are less tolerant.’
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