Barbie movie smashes box office records – but we reveal her true look

As the 64-year-old doll hits the headlines with huge opening weekend, we take a look at how the plastic icon would look at her real age. And yes, she’s everything.

The new Barbie movie broke box office records in its weekend of release, with the much-hyped movie banking more than $300 million (more than £250 million) in ticket sales worldwide.

In the UK, Vue cinema reported the highest pre-sale ticket sales of any film this year – and Friday was the chain’s third biggest Friday ever, as the new Barbie movie launched at the same time as Christopher Nolan’s new film, Oppenheimer.

That makes Barbie, with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling heading up a superstar cast, part of the biggest opening since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

Barbie and Ken at 60Credit: Saga Exceptional
We used AI technology to reimagine what Barbie and Ken would look like if they were being shown at their real age

But while Robbie is 33, the real Barbie would now be 64. She was created in 1959 by Mattel Inc’s Ruth Handler, who’s played by Rhea Perlman in the movie. And while the film is being widely celebrated for its diversity, 75-year-old Pearlman, along with narrator Dame Helen Mirren (77) and Will Ferrell (56) are the only over-50s in the main cast.

In a recent survey, 78% of over-50s told us that their age group wasn’t fairly represented in the media, showing there’s a long way to go until over-50s feel their age group is properly given its due on screen. 

So, with Barbie and Ken now enjoying life in their sixties, we’ve used AI technology from Midjourney (shown above) to reimagine what they would look like if they were being shown at their real age. The results are pretty exceptional, reflecting the energy and vitality that comes with being in your sixties.


The 2023 Oscars were hailed as a breakthrough moment for age representation, with 60-year-old Michelle Yeoh winning the best actress award for Everything, Everywhere All at Once. Yeoh inspired the audience with her acceptance speech, in which she said: “Ladies: don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime.”

Sandy Lancaster, a color analyst and personal stylist who specialises in helping people over 50 reflect how they feel in how they dress, told Saga Exceptional: “When I think about my mother and my grandmother, they got to a certain age and they became almost invisible, and I think women now aren’t ready to do that.

“In fact, we never are. We have this vitality and vibrancy that we want to own. It’s not about anti-ageing, it’s about being seen as a valid person.”

“I’m a granny in my mid-50s and I wear what I want to wear. When women come to me, it’s because there’s something going on in their world: maybe they’re menopausal and their bodies have changed or they might have come to the end of a marriage and they’ve lost their mojo. How we dress comes from inside and there are no style rules; it’s all about individuality.”

Sandy Lancaster, stylist

Cinemagoers have embraced the Barbie trend, with many wearing pink to see the film, and Lancaster sees no reason why we can’t all channel a little bit of the pink plastic icon at any age.

“I went to see the Barbie movie with my husband, who’s 69, and I thought it was fun, it was frothy, it was feminist,” she says. “Not all of us can wear the same shade of pink, we might need a warm shade like a coral or flamingo.

“It’s all about not looking too frothy – you don’t have to be top to toe in pink. Try a great pink lipstick, an elegant scarf or a soft sweater. Give a nod to the trend without looking like you’ve stepped off the film set. Invest in your wardrobe, rather than jumping into the trend.”

We might still have a long way to go in terms of big-screen representation, but film-makers need to catch up because a report earlier this year showed that it’s the more mature movie stars such as Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Julia Roberts who are drawing in audiences. 

“While it’s heartening to see actors Michelle Yeoh and Brendan Fraser winning Oscars earlier this year, the movie world is still very much obsessed with youth,” says Jayne Cherrington-Cook, Senior Editor for Saga Exceptional.

“It’s great to see Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford headlining big blockbusters this summer. However, we rarely see the same representation for women of the same age in big money movies. 

“We need to challenge these stereotypes that movie-goers only want to see younger actors on the big screen. That’s why these AI images are truly wonderful, as they prove you can still be amazing whatever age you are.”

Hannah Verdier

Written by Hannah Verdier


Hannah Verdier writes about fitness, health, relationships, podcasts, TV and the joy of reinventing yourself at 50 and beyond. She’s a graduate of teenage music bible Smash Hits and has a side hustle as a fitness trainer who shows people who hated PE at school how to love exercise.

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