Amy Schumer's 'Barbie' Backlash Is Disappointing

by Taylor Ferber

Internet, why do you never cease to disappoint me? People on the web can't help but turn the wonderful news about Amy Schumer's possible casting in the live-action Barbie film into hateful and disheartening Twitter noise. The news has sparked social media users to publicly give their unwarranted two cents and body-shame the actor. While it's heartbreaking, I know Schumer will pay no mind and rise above it, because that's what she does best. Not to mention, the backlash just reinforces the entire premise of the film and how narrow-minded people can still be, even if it is 2016.

Not so ironically, the upcoming Sony film, which is reportedly "in the vein of Splash, Enchanted, and Big," according to Variety, will speak to this very issue. As for the plot of the Barbie movie, the publication said, "In it, the main character gets kicked out of Barbieland for not being perfect enough and lands in a real-world adventure." The actor's real-life antics about refusing to conform and marching to the beat of your own drum align perfectly with the film. An empowering, positive movie with Schumer as modern Barbie would be a perfect slap in the face to cowardly internet users who can't accept that beauty comes in many forms. But I'll be honest, seeing how irritated people are that Schumer doesn't look exactly like the picture-perfect (and unrealistic) doll they grew up with is disgusting and beyond discouraging.

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While a handful of Twitter users praise Schumer's potential casting, they're outnumbered by those who blindly feel the need to police other people's bodies. "Someone put a bullet in 2016. It's tripping balls," one user writes, using side-by-side photos that compare Schumer to the original doll. Another user tweets, "Shamu would be a much better fit," while other tweets go to extremes like, "Ive been hearing fat ugly @amyschumer is in talks to star in a barbie movie? Everybody invest in clorox, bleach is going to skyrocket! #fat." Actual publications aren't even better than this, with Barstool Sports tweeting, "Amy Schumer is playing fat Barbie in a new bullsh*t movie about how it's what's on the inside that counts."

I mean, there are truly no words. I shouldn't be surprised, but somehow I still am. The fact that people out there not only have these thoughts but feel justified in publicly sharing them is beyond me. Resisting my urge to quit the internet, I'll stick around knowing Schumer will shut this all down and proudly stick to who she is like she did on Instagram earlier in the year. "This is how I look. I feel happy. I think I look strong and healthy and also like miss trunchbull from Matilda," she wrote.

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I won't sugarcoat it and say this film will make these body-shamers change their tune, or that it will foster a healthy, more positive Twitter environment. I'm not sure how realistic it is for the internet to not be a black hole of ignorance and negativity. But if the upcoming film allows women to embrace their imperfections and teach little girls that beauty isn't a single, unattainable standard, then that's retaliation in itself.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated from its original version.