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Ep #123: Bridging Divorce and Self-Identity: Insights from Barbie | Becoming You Again Podcast



Have you ever considered what the Barbie movie can teach divorced women about self-discovery, self-love, and self-worth? I this episode I'm sharing insights inspired by Barbie's movie, where the iconic doll's journey mimics the self-discovery encountered by many women post-divorce. Through the power of metaphor, I'll delve into Ken's struggle to find his identity outside of his relationship with Barbie, shining a light on the parallel journey women often face when navigating life after divorce.


In a world dominated by patriarchal systems, I question its profound influence on our thoughts, actions, and self-perception. I confront the often unchallenged norms and double standards that society imposes on us, drawing powerful examples from the Barbie movie and my own life.


Emphasizing the importance of self-empowerment, I explore stepping into our power and dismissing the fear of public opinion (FOPO). I talk about the significance of embracing our identity, practicing self-care, and nurturing self-love as you move closer to living a life of intention and possibility after divorce.


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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.


Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.


Full Episode Transcript:

Hello, my friends, you're listening to episode number 123 of Becoming you Again, and you guessed it I'm your host, Karin Nelson, and I'm so glad you're here. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. All right, my friends, I am glad to be back with you. I've got kind of a I think maybe a little bit more fun episode for you today. Sometimes we just need a little bit of fun in our lives, right? But if you have been anywhere in this world over the last couple of weeks, you've probably seen that the Barbie movie just came out, and I wanted to give some lessons that we can learn as divorce women from the Barbie movie. So that's where we're at today. I think it's kind of some really good lessons. I think that it's really important for women especially, but any person in this world needs to hear these messages, especially someone who is going through a divorce, and so let's jump into what I believe are some really great things that we can learn from the Barbie movie, especially as we're going through a divorce. The first thing that I really took away from this movie and adapted it to my own life as a divorced woman is that you need to find out who you are as an individual. At the end of the movie, if any of you have seen it and, by the way, there's going to be spoilers so if you haven't seen it and it's something that you really want to go see, go see the movie and then come back to this podcast and listen to it later. I'm definitely going to be talking about things that are talked about, things that happen, speeches that are given like things that happen at the end. So definitely spoilers, but if you've seen it or you don't care and you haven't seen it, then stick around. So here we go into some of the spoilers. At the end of the movie, Ken opens up to Barbie telling her that he doesn't know who he is without Barbie, because it's Barbie and Ken, and that the only way he ever even felt like he had a purpose to his existence was if Barbie looked at him, was if Barbie acknowledged him was if Barbie said something to him or made plans with him. And other than that, he had a very difficult time even knowing what his purpose was, who he was, what he was supposed to be doing in this world. And so, upon hearing that, first of all, barbie had no idea, and, second of all, she explains to Ken that it's really important for him to figure out who he is on his own, outside of Barbie and Ken, outside of that relationship, outside of his job, outside of his hobby, she explains that it's not Barbie and Ken, it's Barbie and it's Ken. And I think that this is maybe one of the most important things that anyone needs to learn to accept, to adopt after they go through a divorce. A person needs to exist and be an individual on their own, without needing their partner, their kids, their religion, their job, whatever, to define their purpose. And when you go through a divorce, this can be a very difficult, challenging thing to do, but, in my opinion, I think it's the most important thing to do Find out who you are as an individual and accept and love that person for who you are. This for me. Can you hear my cat? My cat is meowing outside the door, sitting in my closet recording this podcast, and of course, my cat is like oh, let me in. That seems so fun to be in that closet with you. It's actually not. I'm not going to open the door so you might just hear some more. So you might hear some more meowing. But here we go. For me personally, this was something that I absolutely had to learn about myself and it's something that I continue to learn. I don't think that once we figure out who we are, that's it and now there's no more growth, there's no more understanding. I just don't believe that. I think we're continually learning more about ourselves. I think we're continually growing and evolving and changing, and the more we open up to that and accept who we are, the better off we are, the better off we'll be, the better off the world will be, because we don't need the world to change for us to be able to feel something, for us to be able to love ourselves, for us to be able to feel worthy of being here. We get to understand that that worth is inside of us and is inherent naturally, and we get to understand and accept ourselves because of it. And I've talked about this before, but I was married for almost 20 years and I definitely was the Ken character in that relationship. I was the one who really put all of my worth, put all of my existence, put all of my importance on that relationship and I didn't know who I was, I didn't know how I was an individual, I didn't understand my worth, I didn't see my value. I had to learn those things, I had to get to know myself, and it was rough and it was hard and it hurt and it was sad, but it was also really fun and really exciting and really enlightening and beautiful. I want you to be able to say those things about yourself and recognize those things about yourself as well, without needing someone else to point them out, without needing someone else to accept them, without needing someone else to say that it's okay that you exist, because you being here, being born automatically and inherently, makes it okay for you to exist. All right, the second thing that we can learn from the Barbie movie is patriarchy. Now, I know this is a buzzword and to some people it is very off-putting and to other people it is very real. So let me kind of give you a little very brief history lesson of patriarchy, because in the Barbie movie. Patriarchy is a theme and it is talked about a lot, but it's a little bit lighthearted in the way that it is portrayed, and that's okay. It's giving everyone like a base understanding of what patriarchy is, and it goes so much deeper than what the movie portrays, and that's okay. So let me just explain very quickly what patriarchy actually is. It is the system that the world was built on centuries centuries, not just within the last 100 years, 500 years, not even 1,000 years, even more centuries ago that is still present to this day. In fact there's a line in the movie when Ken is in the modern day world and I can't remember specifically what he says. But Ken is very enamored with this idea of patriarchy because in Barbie's world the Ken's aren't in charge, it's the Barbies that are in charge. It's the Barbies who are on the Supreme Court, it's the Barbies who have all of the jobs, it's the Barbies who, you know, kind of run that world. And Ken doesn't understand what it's like to live in a world where that isn't a thing. And so he gets to the modern day world and realizes that there's a thing called patriarchy and he thinks it's really great. But there's a line in the movie when Ken says something to a man where he sees women holding jobs and working and he's like, says to this man well, I thought patriarchy was the thing that was in charge here, something like that, and I thought patriarchy was still around. What's going on? And the man says, oh, it's still around. We're just much better at hiding it. And what I find really fascinating is this is such a throwaway line, but it holds so much truth in today's world. But I do want to say that I'm not saying that there hasn't been change. That is happening. When we compare our world now and women's freedom and women's right to independence to, as I said, 100 years ago, 500 years ago, even 1000 years ago and on, we are light years ahead of where they were back then. However, there is still more change that needs to happen. Because of the patriarchal system that was created centuries and centuries ago, women and men not just women, but everyone has been culturally programmed to believe that women are, in a sense, second class citizens, and I'm going to explain more about that in the third one. You'll understand what I'm saying when I get there. But women have been culturally programmed to believe that we need to be good that we need to stay in our box, and it's not a coincidence that this is exactly what the CEO of Mattel wants Barbie to do to keep her in line, to get her back to Barbie world. After she comes to the modern-day world, he literally tries to put her in a box and tie her into the box and take her back to Barbie world. He doesn't want her to think, he doesn't want her to speak, he doesn't want her to feel, he doesn't want her to emote, he doesn't want her to learn or to experience or to take up space or to evolve. And for women, that is something that we sometimes feel like we don't have a right to do. We sometimes don't feel like we have a right to voice our opinion. I know, for me, when I was married, I was never outright told your opinion is wrong, but I was often laughed at, shamed or made to feel inferior because I held an opinion that maybe wasn't agreed upon, which made me feel like it was wrong, which made me then not want to voice my opinion because I didn't like the feeling that there was something wrong with it. And, as a side note, with this going back for centuries and centuries, we as women have taken it upon ourselves to question everything that we think and do. How many times have you gone through something and thought to yourself am I crazy, is this actually happening, or am I wrong here? Am I the asshole here? Or question yourself when something felt just a little bit off, you just weren't sure what it was. And then you've been told that your intuition is wrong, is bad, is too emotional for your entire life, and you've seen that story and that idea around you everywhere you go. That you decide not to listen to it, that you decide that maybe I am crazy, maybe I am wrong, maybe everything is fine and I can just ignore it. How many times has that happened in your life? It is because of this, it is because of the system of patriarchy that we have been living in, that tells us we are wrong, we are too emotional, our intuition is silly and we are crazy. So there's this whole system that has been put in place for women, and why is this important when it comes to divorce? Well, it's important because we, as women, have to do the work to step into speaking up for ourselves, to step into asking for what we want, to step into taking up space and voicing opinions and not worrying so much about what the outside world thinks of us. And the more we can do that, the more this system will break down. It's not going to happen overnight, it hasn't happened overnight, but things are changing. And that definitely leads me to the next lesson that we can learn from Barbie, and that is that society has a double standard for women. But there's a speech in the movie by a character named Gloria, who is played by America Ferrera, and I'm going to read the speech. So, for those of you who know, you know, you know what I'm talking about already. You already know the speech, you've heard it. You probably maybe cried or you felt very seen, at the very least. And for those of you who haven't heard it, I just want you to listen to the words and understand for a minute. If you're a woman, so many of us feel this way, and if you're a man. This might give you some perspective about what it's like to be a woman in today's world. So this is Gloria and she's speaking to Barbie, and I quote" it's literally impossible to be a woman. You are so beautiful and so smart and it kills me that you don't think you're good enough. Like we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong. You have to be thin, but not too thin, and you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to make money, but you can't ask for money because that's crass. You have to be a boss, but you can't be mean. You have to lead, but you can't squash other people's ideas. You're supposed to love being a mother, but don't talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men's bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you're accused of complaining. You're supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women because you're supposed to be part of the sisterhood, but always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that, but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It's too hard, it's too contradictory, and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you, and it turns out, in fact, that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault. I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing women, then I don't even know". So that is Gloria's speech and it is powerful and it is true, and I know that I have felt all of those things and I could guarantee that probably 99% of the women who are listening to this podcast right now have felt that way at one time in their life or another. There is a double standard in this world. We can't deny it because it is there. But also I do want you to know that it is totally okay for us, as women, to do our best to let go of fear of other people's opinions, fopo as I have heard it called and as I have been referring to it lately, because I just really love that. We all know FOMO fear of missing out, but I think the more important one is FOPO for sure, which is fear of other people's opinions. Society and patriarchal systems that have been set up have put women at a disadvantage in many, many ways, just as Gloria's character points out, and this sucks Like, let's be real, this sucks. It sucks that this is just another thing that is heaped upon us that if we want to make changes, we as women are going to have to take it upon ourselves to make those changes. Yes, there are going to be some men who also understand and want to create change as well, but for women, so often there's this idea that boys will be boys and men will be when and they're going to keep doing what they're doing. And it's up to women to make the change if they want anything to change. And so I hate to say it, but if we want change to happen, if we want to create a better life, if we don't want to have a double standard, if we want to feel independent in our lives after divorce. If we don't want to have to rely on a partner to feel secure and safe and happy, we are going to have to be the ones to make the change. We are going to have to step up and create the life that we want. Divorce is the perfect time to be able to do that Now. Does that mean that you have to be divorced to do it? No, of course not. If you're married, you're staying in your marriage. Whatever, go for it. Figure out who you are, figure out what you want. Do your best to take up space and use your voice and ask for what you want, and disregard this double standard and let go of what other people are thinking about you. But divorce can be an amazing catalyst to figure out that it's okay for you to be this person, it's okay for you to have an amazing life, and you don't have to have someone else right there by your side showing you how to do it, telling you what to do, deciding for you what your life should look like. The more we can get past this idea of what other people might be thinking of us, which is what so much of this double standard comes from. Right, it's like, oh no, what are these guys thinking of us? What is that other woman over there thinking of me? What will my boss think of me if I do this? I mean for me personally. Like that came into my decision making when I was trying to decide if I even wanted a divorce. All of those what will other people think of me thoughts came into my head and it held me back from making the decision that I knew was right for me for so long, because I was so worried about what will the kids think? What will my parents think? What will my soon to be ex even think? And I was not taking into account at all my own knowledge, my own knowing of what was right for me. And the more we can step into that, the more we can let go of the fear around what other people are thinking of us, around, what other people might be judging us for, the more we can step into our own authority and our own knowing and those double standard walls are going to start to crumble. So what does all of this mean? Why is any of this important? As we go through a divorce, who cares what the Barbie movie said? Right, I know some of you are probably thinking that, but here's why. Here's why I think it's important and here's why I wanted to truly give this podcast in the first place, because until we've become aware that there is a system in place, that it exists, that it is really there that's been doing its best to keep us seeing ourselves as not enough, not good enough, we're not smart enough to make decisions, we can't do it on our own. We are crazy. Our intuition is idiotic. There's something wrong with us. We're not smart enough. All of those things. Until we can become aware even we will never be in a position to make change happen for ourselves, for our posterity, for our girls, for our boys, for our communities and perhaps even the world. There is no change without first being aware that a need for change exists. And the second reason that I really wanted to talk about this is because you matter. You are important. You're not just Karen, you're not just Melissa, you're not just Phil in the blank of your name. You are you. You are unique, you are an individual, you are the goddamn star of your world. You have a voice, you are allowed to take up space, you are lovable and worthy and valuable, and you have every right to know and believe that. And when you start to believe that and accept it as truth, that is when your entire world is going to open up to new, beautiful possibility. That is what I have for you today. I love you all. Thank you so much for being here. I'll talk to you soon. Bye, Hi, friend. I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to KarinNelsonCoaching dot com. That's wwwKARINNELSONCoaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married, make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.

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