Think of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. The movie was set in a world polar opposite to the one we know and live in—it’s where Barbies ran the government and took charge of the economy. Unfortunately, even prayers recited with our eyes tightly shut is no bar to a trip back to the real world that shows upended statistics of women in entrepreneurship, leadership, business and more…until recently. Amid a turbulent global economy and financial upheavals across the world, women in the arts and media have been taking centre stage and singlehandedly saving the economy from a downward spiral. And unless you’ve been living the hermit life, you know what we’re talking about. Pop-culture icons such as Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, as well as filmmaker Greta Gerwig have broken the glass ceiling with their record-breaking numbers and virality of their work. Below we take a deeper look at the work of these artists who fired up the economy and have left more than just a mark on our minds and hearts.
There’s no stopping Taylor Swift, and we’re loving every moment of her run-the-world energy. Swift’s Eras Tour came after a four-year hiatus from performing at concerts and has taken the world by storm with its over-the-top scale of production, dramatic entrances, custom-made ensembles and her undying energy. In the United States of America alone, the tour generated more than $4 billion and boosted the US economy in unprecedented ways including fuelling the national tourism industry. According to the platform, Mad Over Marketing, people spend $1200 on average on concert tickets, flights, and hotel expenses. In fact, the Federal Reserve even credited her work in their recently released Beige Book attributing the boost to the concerts.
A few weeks ago, it was also revealed that Swift gave her dancers, truck drivers, and other staff members a bonus that amounted to nearly $55 million. A few days ago, the Anti-Hero hit-maker, once again, got all Swifties intrigued with her appearance at Travis Kelce’s football game where she was seen wearing a Kansas City Chiefs jersey. The next day, sales for the jersey went up by nearly 400 per cent. And as if this weren’t enough, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour movie is expected to make $100 million in its opening weekend and its release has been seen as a threat to competing films, some of whom have even changed their release date to avoid a clash. Talk about girl power!
Queen B's on-going Renaissance World Tour is the icon’s ninth concert tour and the highest-grossing one so far. The tour, which began in May 2023, topped the tour charts for record-breaking numbers during that month. So far, her concerts have earned over $450 million in revenue and are expected to generate over $2 billion in economic activities throughout the tour. Besides being the pop-culture icon that she is, Beyoncé has forayed into various business ventures and her signature scent—Heat—has crossed nearly $515 million in revenue in recent years. We’re in awe.
There’s no denying the stupendous and record-breaking success of the Great Gerwig-directed Barbie. The film, which was made within a budget of $100 million, went on become the biggest hit of the year, crossing $1 billion worldwide—making Gerwig the only female filmmaker in history to achieve the feat. The movie’s release also impacted the price of Mattel’s shares, increasing their value by nearly 22 per cent. Gerwig’s work is an exemplification of what women can achieve and will set a precedent for many to follow. “I’m so grateful. I’m so amazed. I’m at a loss for words, really…it’s been amazing to walk around and see people in pink. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine something like this. It’s just… it’s… sorry, I’m just disintegrating into noises…,” Gerwig told the New York Times in an interview, “My brother and his sons and his wife all went in Sacramento and sent a picture, then they sent a text saying their oldest son was going back the next day with his friends. These 15- or 16-year-old boys from Sacramento are sending me texts saying, ‘It was great! We loved the Porsche joke!’ Those are the things that feel so amazing. I’ve never quite had anything like this.”
What we’re seeing is only the beginning of some revolutionary changes that will bring women up, front, and centre with the work they are doing and the contributions they are making to the economy, and society as a whole. This is only a flirtatious beginning to an incredible affair with freedom, empowerment, and equality, and we couldn’t be smiling more widely.