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Sandburg student thoughts on Barbenheimer phenomenon

Recent movie releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer have hit the hallways of Sandburg, and have given students a new opportunity to think about history, gender, and equality.

With both movies being released on the same day, many people saw both back to back. Tuesday, September 12 was even deemed “Barbenheimer Day” for Homecoming Spirit Week; students dressed accordingly with either pink or black attire.

Sandburg student Andy Acosta and band director Mr. Bailey show off their Barbenheimer outfits during Homecoming Spirit Week – Photo courtesy of Sarah Allyson Torres

Barbie, inspired by the notable toy dolls made by Mattel, is a story of how the land of Barbies, inhabited by various Barbie dolls, influences young women in the real world.

However, after one of the Barbies begins feeling strange in Barbieland, she and Ken decide to venture out into the real world in an attempt to find the child playing with her. But after Ken discovers in the real world what patriarchy is, chaos ensues after their return to Barbieland.

This movie, although it touches on deep topics, has a light and funny tone that keeps its audience engaged.

Alternatively, Oppenheimer has a dramatic presence in not only its delivery of the story, but also its marketing and music.

The movie winds through the history of the atomic bomb and how Julius Robert Oppenheimer designed and planned the Manhattan Project. It portrays the dramatic impact of the bomb on not only its creator, but the entire world as well.

Though there are many mixed reviews involving both movies, each has made an significant impact on Sandburg students. One of the most obvious examples is our school’s choice to make a homecoming spirit day called “Barbenheimer.” Despite differing opinions, it is clear that these pieces of cinema have had a cultural impact on Carl Sandburg High School.

Sandburg student Ellory Crnkovich stated that “Barbie has played a pivotal role in the lives of women at Sandburg as it has shown us how beautiful it is to be a girl.”

Crnkovich also noted how eye-opening Oppenheimer was in regards to learning American history, especially after taking classes at Sandburg that touch on the topic. She said, “While I had known about the bomb and the Manhattan Project, it was interesting to hear all about the man behind the entire project.”

Although the movies were released over the summer, they still play fun roles in the lives of Sandburg students, turning the hallways into a swarm of pink cowboy hats and formal suits.

As evidenced by the Barbenheimer outfits and talk present in the hallways, it is certain that these two movies have left a cultural impact within the school.

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