By Eva Pagán Hill, LMHC
On the 20th of July, 2023 HAPBWA Foundation hosted a viewing of the movie Barbie sponsored by SENCU Construction as a fundraising and educational event. A group of 62 women between the ages of 11 and 77 came together for a night of laughter, tears, comradery, and empowerment.
We wore outfits in “Barbie Pink”. Some had glitter and fancy shoes, others had Barbie T-shirts, hats, and tennis shoes. We shared memories of playing with Barbies as young girls or as mothers and grandmothers.
Before the movie, Carilyn Eglee, Coach Integral Image Coach and Founder of Empowered Women on the Road (Mujeres Empoderadas en la Carretera), dressed in a pink mechanic suit shared why she brought the idea for hosting this event to the HAPBWA Foundation Board. As part of her educational presentation, Carilyn spoke about her memories of playing with Barbie as a child. She also shared how the Barbie message of “You can be anything that you want to be” has inspired her to succeed in the man’s world of auto-mechanics as well as coaching both men and women to see themselves as whole people that shine from within.
The movie made us laugh and brought tears to our eyes as it shared a story of the journey from self-criticism and perfectionism to self-acceptance for both Barbie and Ken.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Ken’s thoughts and feelings were heard and valued. The clear message in doing this was that women’s empowerment should not mean men’s disenfranchisement or discrimination.
We don’t have to be perfect or fit any stereotype because we are all unique and worthy of loving and respecting ourselves. We should also recognize the importance of making an effort to listen, learn and value each other.
All this can also be found in Barbie’s famous song “Get your sparkle on and show this world where you belong”.