Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” has earned more than $1 billion in global box office sales since its release in July. And with a dreamhouse in Malibu and that killer pink Corvette, it’s no wonder the world’s most famous doll is now the undisputed queen of summer 2023.
But all beach parties must come to an end (yes, even for Ken).
So with fall around the corner and a new quarter’s worth of classes to choose from, we’re giving Barbie everything she needs to find that back-to-school spirit – with five upcoming UCLA Extension courses that will help her prepare for life in the real world.
In Gerwig’s film, Barbie’s Hollywood odyssey begins when the music stops and she starts to question her existence (we’ve all been there). Every day is the day of your life in Barbie Land, but what comes next?
To find out, Barbie can enroll in this introductory course on the nature of the mind, covering materialism, free will, the nature of psychological knowledge and much more, and taught by Dr. Jennifer Zamzow, who holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Arizona. Here, Barbie can study thinkers like Descartes, Nagel and Searle and explore their ideas about the biggest philosophical questions of the day – or just figure out what to do with those “thoughts of death” that keep popping up.
On her first visit to the real world, Barbie quickly learns that Venice Beach ain’t Barbie Land – cat-calling, handsy construction workers and a mansplaining corporate board (more on that later) is not what she signed up for. While Ken is living his best life – it has something to do with horses – Barbie finds she needs to shout just to be heard.
To help her find her voice, Barbie can sign up for the Women’s Writing Weekend, a two-day workshop where women and female-identifying writers can learn to tell their stories in the best way possible. The course is designed for writers of all levels, from those who are just getting started to experienced authors looking for creative inspiration – so Barbie can bring her friends along if she’d like. Maybe Gerwig?
Under the layers of pink plastic, “Barbie” is really about what it means to be human – in more ways than one. Based on Barbie’s wildly unrealistic figure, it’s a good bet she still has some misconceptions about what exactly that entails. High heels are not a naturally occurring phenomenon, it turns out.
In this introductory course, which counts toward UCLA Extension’s Fitness Instruction Certificate, Barbie will get insight into the structure, function and integration of cells, tissues and organs of the human body – useful information as she starts eating real food, showering with real water and getting ready for those doctor’s visits.
If your summer was unusually pink, you won’t be surprised to learn that the marketing effort behind “Barbie” cost an estimated $150 million – more than the budget for the movie itself, according to NME.
But while Barbie may already be a marketing guru, she knows that in a constantly changing industry, she can’t afford to get left behind. Thankfully, UCLA Extension’s integrated marketing communications course can help her take her skills up a notch. The course counts toward our marketing certificate programs and is perfect for both students just starting in the field and seasoned pros who are looking for an update – and are ready to come up with next summer’s version of that Barbie-Airbnb partnership.
Barbie’s trip to the Mattel headquarters doesn’t go as planned, as an all-male executive board headed by Will Farrell tries to box her out the company’s future – literally. What happened to royalties?
To round out her course schedule, Barbie can enroll in Business Law Fundamentals, which explores the critical interaction between business and the legal system. Students can learn about the ethical and criminal implications of business actions and start to recognize grounds for business torts – all of which might come in handy once Barbie is ready to point her brand in a new direction.
While we can't all be the summer's darling, classes at UCLA Extension are open access – everyone can enroll. Check out our course listings and select a schedule that is right for you. Classes begin Sept. 25.