The producers for the Barbie movie are tugging on all of their creative strings. And that includes loading its soundtrack with A-list talent.
Big names are being revealed in collaboration with the movie, such as Dua Lipa and Nicki Minaj. And, as of a few days ago, perhaps the biggest name dropped: Billie Eilish.
Eilish’s melodic contribution to the film comes in perhaps her most coined sounds: ethereal, beautiful and contemplative.
Instead of choosing something upbeat, which would seem to fit the film well, Elish has written a slow, clean, beautiful ballad called “What Was I Made For?” that asks some big spiritual questions. And with the song garnering over 8.4 million views in only four days, it’s safe to say that this song is resonating with many a listener.
While Eilish may resonate with everything she’s written on a personal level, she wrote this song from the perspective of Barbie.
Barbie is beginning to see that her life isn’t what she’s always thought: “I used to float, now I just fall down/I used to know, but I’m not sure now.”
She wonders: “What was I made for?”
And this thought plagues her as she thinks through different moments in her life (“Taking’ a drive/I was an ideal”), wondering if she’s a real person or just “somethin’ you paid for.”
She’s accustomed to being happy and cheerful for herself and those around her, but she can no longer relate to those feelings (“I don’t know how to feel/But I wanna try/…I’m sad again, don’t tell my boyfriend”).
However, she realizes that although she’s not happy anymore (“Think I forgot how to be happy”), she can be and was made to be (“Somethin’ I’m not, but somethin’ I can be/Somethin’ I wait for/Somethin’ I’m made for”).
I find this track to be really interesting. While it was written for the upcoming Barbie film, the song still fits Eilish well.
While Eilish’s fanbase has grown accustomed to her writing dark music with troubling lyrics, her music has shifted in the past few years as she admits to unhealthy patterns and relationships and yearns to be healthy.
And now she’s written a song that, although it’s from the perspective of Barbie, asks big, spiritual questions about her existence: What was she made for?
Before you think I’m reaching too far, Eilish sat down to chat with Zane Lowe from Apple Music and had this to say about the song: “Every single lyric is about my life.”
She goes on to say that although she wouldn’t have thought to write this song without the push of needing to do so for the soundtrack, she feels these lyrics deeply and thinks about this question often.
That feels like a step in a very positive direction.
As Christians, we know that the purpose and the meaning of our lives are rooted in Jesus, and perhaps as Eilish searches she too will find that she was made for more than fleeting, happy moments. Perhaps she’ll find that there is a joy in Christ that can never be taken away.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).