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Hari Nef Shares Powerful Message About Being Cast in Barbie

Hari Nef Shares Powerful Message About Being Cast in Barbie

Hari Nef

"We call ourselves ‘the dolls’ in the face of everything we know we are, never will be, hope to be. We yell the word because the word matters. And no doll matters more than Barbie."

Hari Nef is one of our favorite dolls.

The model and actress has shined in roles in shows and movies like Transparent, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Assassination Nation, and the upcoming series The Idol. And now, we get to flock to the movie theater to see her shine as a Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s new Barbie movie.

While this moment means a lot for us as fans of Nef’s, it also means even more to trans women, including Nef herself. And she’s opened up about why.

“Hi dolls! It's me, Barbie. This Barbie is a doctor.” Nef wrote on her Instagram. Today her character poster for Barbie was released, along with an all-new trailer.

“When I heard I was cast as a Barbie in the Barbie movie, it looked like I was maybe not going to be able to do the film because of a scheduling conflict. So I wrote Greta and Margot a letter essentially begging them to fudge the schedule a little bit, as I had big feelings about wanting to join this film,” she continued.

Nef then shared a portion of the letter she wrote to Gerwig and Robbie.

“This is a big movie, made by a team whose work has played no small role in cultivating my love of sitting in the dark in front of big screens for an hour or two. But that’s just a part of why I want–my heart says “need”–to join in the making of this film,” Nef wrote. “Identity politics and cinema aren’t my favorite combination, but the name BARBIE looms large over every American woman. Barbie’s the standard; she’s The Girl; she’s certainly THE doll.”

“Me and my girlfriends–okay, yeah, me and my other transgender girlfriends– we started calling ourselves “the dolls” a couple of years ago, though the phrase stretches back into the language of our foremothers in the ballroom scene,” she continued.

“‘The Dolls.’ Maybe it's a bid to ratify our femininity, to smile and sneer at the standards we’re held to as women. It’s a joke, of course; we throw our voices: ‘the do-o-lls!’ But underneath the word ‘doll’ is the shape of a woman who is not quite a woman–recognizable as such, but still a fake,” she said. “‘Doll’ is fraught, glamorous; she is, and she isn’t. We call ourselves ‘the dolls’ in the face of everything we know we are, never will be, hope to be. We yell the word because the word matters. And no doll matters more than Barbie.”

Hari! You’re making us cry in the morning!!! Right now, when trans girls are being so violently told they are not girls by Republicans, children’s fantasy authors, and bigots, one of us is starring as a Barbie.

The dolls certainly are dolling, and Hari Nef is dolling with the best of them!

Barbie, also starring Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera, Ncuti Gatwa, Alexandra Shipp, Hellen Mirren, and many more, comes out in theaters July 21.


Barbie | Teaser Trailer 2youtu.be

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Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.