“I don’t know if this is a good example of womanhood”: Greta Gerwig Admits Her Mother Was Never a Fan of Barbie

Greta Gerwig opens up about her unconventional upbringing and her mother's reservations toward Barbie's portrayal of womanhood.

"I don't know if this is a good example of womanhood": Greta Gerwig Admits Her Mother Was Never a Fan of Barbie


  • Greta Gerwig's childhood ban on Barbie dolls reflects her unconventional upbringing.
  • Despite early restrictions, Gerwig's directorial success with Barbie demonstrates her capacity to transcend personal experiences for cinematic achievements.
  • Gerwig's childhood passion for directing, sparked by imaginative plays, serves as a testament to her authentic and determined cinematic journey.
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In a recent revelation, celebrated actress and filmmaker Greta Gerwig delved into her nontraditional upbringing. It sheds light on a surprising facet of her childhood. During an interview, the 40-year-old disclosed that her mother held no affinity for Barbie dolls, rendering the iconic toys strictly prohibited in her early years.

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Greta Gerwig

Read more: “He’s like a Bond villain”: James Cameron’s Director-on-Director With Greta Gerwig Draws Wildest Response After Refusing to Physically Show Up

Despite Barbie’s cultural omnipresence and widespread appeal among children. Gerwig’s unique perspective extends beyond her childhood, manifesting in her groundbreaking Barbie film, which achieved a historic box office milestone.


As a child, Greta Gerwig Didn’t Have Barbie Dolls

In her formative years, Greta Gerwig encountered an unconventional prohibition that diverged sharply from societal norms. She was, sort of, kept from having Barbie dolls.

Greta Gerwig
Barbie director, Greta Gerwig

Read more: Greta Gerwig Admits One of the Best Moments of Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie From Barbie Was Inspired By a Commercial

The accomplished filmmaker recently disclosed this intriguing aspect of her childhood. She revealed that her mother, expressing concerns about reinforcing female stereotypes, initially curtailed her access to the iconic dolls.


In a candid conversation with Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Gerwig explained,

“My mom wasn’t so into Barbie. I don’t know if this is a good example of womanhood, the body type, and everything … she was less excited about that.”

She highlights her mother’s reservations about the body image and societal implications associated with the doll.

While Gerwig’s early memories of Barbie weren’t perfectly pink and positive, her creativity on screen has since soared. Despite her childhood restrictions, she embarked on directing Barbie. The satirical blockbuster emerged as the highest-grossing movie of 2023, amassing a staggering $1.4 billion at the box office.


This unexpected success is proof of Gerwig’s ability to transcend personal experiences and societal expectations. 

It’s a captivating paradox, Gerwig’s initial detachment from Barbie dolls. It symbolizes societal ideals and contrasts sharply with her directorial success in creating a film that resonates globally.

This narrative not only showcases Gerwig’s resilience but also prompts reflection on the complex interplay between personal experiences and artistic creativity. It invites us to explore the origins of her directorial prowess.


Greta Gerwig’s Desire To Direct Emerged In Her Early Years

Greta Gerwig
Greta Gerwig with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling on the sets of Barbie

Read more: Greta Gerwig Becomes the First American Female Director to Earn an Incredible Honor at Cannes International Film Festival

Gerwig’s early inclination toward directing blossomed with an intrinsic drive that shaped her distinguished career. From a tender age, Gerwig displayed a passionate interest in storytelling and filmmaking.

Reflecting on her childhood in the same interview, she shared, “I was trying to organize other kids into re-enacting plays I’d seen.”


In a vivid recollection, inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Starlight Express, young Gerwig orchestrated her interpretation. The filmmaker explained,

“I remember – I must have been in kindergarten—explaining to all the kids what the story of Starlight Express was, and that I would be playing Rusty and I was like, No, no, we’re all trains and we’re being played with…… and they said, ‘What are you talking about? And I was like, … and we’re all on roller skates, but I know we’re not, so we’re all going to have to pretend to be.”

This imaginative force showcased her determination, as she added, “I couldn’t think of anything more that I wanted to do than organize fantasy plays.”

Navigating the cinematic world, Gerwig’s innate desire to direct became increasingly evident. It propelled her to break barriers and establish herself as a prominent filmmaker.


This early passion stands as a potent testament to its authenticity and unwavering commitment.


Written by Muskan Chaudhary

Articles Published: 694

Muskan Chaudhary, Junior Content Writer at Fandom wire. Having completed her degree in Commerce, she has written over 500 articles spanning FandomWire and Animated Times in the pop culture. She is dedicated to bring the latest and informative content from the entertainment world, thus expanding her knowledge in the field. Apart from her contributions to FandamWire, she has a keen interest in video games, sketching and playing tennis.