Apparently hoping that parents will forget the original lyrics to Aqua's stupid bang-you-over-the-head with sexual innuendo 90s hit "Barbie Girl," Mattel has released an "official" Barbie video for 2009, featuring a revamped version of the tune. It's...interesting.
You may recall that Mattel, the makers of Barbie, once sued Aqua over the song, claiming that it associated "sexual and other unsavory themes with Mattel's Barbie products." Apparently that's no longer the case, as the company is using the song to promote it's new "Barbie Fashionista" line. The lyrics have been changed, obviously, as "you can brush my hair, undress me everywhere" is perhaps not the best message to send 8 year olds, but the video remains creepy, as Barbie, dressed in a short shirt and leggings, dances around signing about being a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world, and so on and so forth, claiming that you can "be an inspiration, make a decoration," whatever the hell that means:
The video pisses me off on several levels: one, it's filled with stupid words like "doll'icious!", two, Barbie the "fashionista" doesn't seem concerned about fashion as much as—wait for it—boys and famous, and three, there are adults dancing around with Barbie, instead of kids. I think they're supposed to be "real life" Barbie dolls, but they look like Pussycat Dolls, gyrating their hips in short skirts and singing about "doing anything," which, in this instance, apparently means becoming a celebrity with a fashion line. Ken also makes an appearance, dressed in rejects from Justin Timberlake's 2005 wardrobe. He can't do The Barbie, but he still gets to sound like he's in charge, as Barbie, like the singer in the original Aqua tune, squeals baby-voiced things like, "Oh, I'm having so much fun!"
If anything, the "Barbie Fashionista" line shows that Barbie is just picking up where her slutty cousins, the Bratz, left off. The Barbie I grew up with had many flaws, but she also had other talents besides being a dumb girlfriend to Ken who thought about nothing but clothes and being a star. If we're going to have a line of dolls dedicated to fashion, could we at least incorporate actual design? The Barbie Sewing Studio, perhaps? There's nothing wrong with being a "fashionista," if there's a bit of substance behind it, but can we please, for the love of Jem, just leave this stupid era of "Hey girls, check it out! You can be famous!" behind? Barbie's slogan when I was growing up was "we girls can do anything, right, Barbie?" It would be nice if the dolls could answer with something besides a stupid dance ripped from a song based on being dominated by a man. Come on, Barbie, indeed.
Barbie Fashionista Dolls Star In Do The Barbie Music Video Premiere [Examiner]
Mattel Sues Aqua Over Barbie [Rolling Stone]
Ken Is A Hipster [Buzzfeed]