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“I’m Just Ken” Nominated for a Grammy?


On the morning of November 10, it was probable that hundreds of artists stood in their homes anxiously pacing back and forth, holding their phones in their sweaty palms, waiting for this year’s Grammy nominations to be announced.

Finally, several songs for each category were announced. Among the Best Visual Media award nominations is a song about male fragility, “I’m Just Ken,” which is competing against three other hit singles from Greta Gerwig’s film Barbie, Dua Lipa’s “Dance The Night,” “Barbie World,” with Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice (featuring Aqua)and Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?”

Ryan Gosling, known predominantly as an actor for roles ranging from romantic comedies to intense dramas, made an unexpected foray into the music world with this catchy, controversial track.

“I’m Just Ken” is an upbeat, tongue-in-cheek tune that dives into the life of Ken, the male counterpart to Barbie. The song humorously depicts Ken’s insecurities and attempts to find his identity, independent of Barbie, as he navigates through a world where his more famous partner often overshadows him.

Gosling’s Grammy nomination for his Barbie song based on a song from the Barbie movie raised some eyebrows. This leads to the question, does the Grammy nomination for “I’m Just Ken” prove the point of the Barbie movie?

But what exactly is the point of the Barbie movie?

The movie’s underlying message emphasizes embracing one’s true identity and rejecting societal constructs that confine individuals to predefined roles. It sheds light on the impact of patriarchal pressures on men and women and advocates for female empowerment as a central theme.

In Barbieland, Barbie experiences an existential crisis triggered by the real-world emotions of her owner’s mother. Through her journey between Barbieland and the real world, she confronts the stark contrast between a matriarchal society and a patriarchal reality.

In the “real world,” Barbie’s realization of the opposite societal imbalance prompts her to challenge the blindly accepted gender norms. The storyline highlights the struggles faced by everyday women, the pressure to embody unrealistic beauty standards, and the limiting of the abilities of women in a male-dominated world.

Unfortunately, Ryan Gosling’s character, Ken, and his song represent the traditional patriarchal perspective that society should be male-dominated and outright rejects feminist viewpoints and undermines the feminist undertone of the Barbie movie.

Back to the Grammy Nomination: we will see what happens on February 4, 2024, (at 8:00 PM EST) when the Grammy for the Best Visual Media award is announced.

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