Ushering in our brand new set of casual insights into pop songs new and old, Kyle Press goes deep in five hundred words or so on the true meanings of Aqua’s party starting super-hit as it prepares to hit 20 years old.

Aqua’s Number one selling hit song “Barbie Girl” is turning 20 years old this year. I feel bloody old. The song is based on the doll’s “Barbie” and “Ken” of an American toy Company known as “Mattel”, the song itself is very catchy and is a classic party tune! But twenty years on the songs’ message that the lyrics speak seems rather wrong in many ways.

“Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.” To me it sounds like they’re suggesting being fake is the best way to be, techquially a Barbie doll is a stereotypical perfect doll, which also suggests they think only being perfect with size zero bodies and drop-dead gorgeous looks is right. “Plastic” is the best way to be, what about those who aren’t?

“I’m a blond bimbo girl, in a fantasy world. Dress me up, make it tight, I’m your dolly.” Okay, first of all: “I’m a blond bimbo girl” is more than wrong, it’s disgusting, it’s like they’re saying all girls are just beautiful unintelligent human beings, which is definitely wrong because the way I see it all girls are equal, looks don’t matter, we’re all smart in our own ways. And then there’s “you can brush my hair, undress me anywhere” – prostitution Alert! But not only does it sound like prostitution, it also makes me believe they’re saying it’s okay for men to control women, as the lyric also says, “you can touch, you can play if you say I’m always yours” which is like they’re saying its okay for men to be controlling towards women, like you say it’s okay to touch and play when “Ken” says “You’re always mine” But what happens when he takes it too far? And touches you when you don’t want him to, you can’t stop him, you basically gave him consent to do whatever he pleases.

But it’s not all about the girls, Boys matter too:  “You’re my doll, rock’n’roll, feel the glamor in pink, Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky.” This makes men sound very controlling and like all we want is sex. Yeah, I know I said something similar about guys being controlling earlier but not all guys are control freaks, but this lyric makes it sound like all we care about is having girls touch us here and kiss us there, and I for one, don’t agree with the lyric, I see us all as equals. I respect women for being themselves but not only that, for the reason that they changed their own life’s! They made it so they can vote, and so they’re not all stuck in a kitchen raising children, and made it okay for men to stay home and look after the children. They went above and beyond that, to achieve so much, and still are, they shouldn’t be reduced to this!

Whilst lyrically Barbie Girl is maybe as bad as the quality of the doll it represents, it’s not all bad, in fact it actually has some positive vibes to take from it. “Imagination, life is your creation”  sounds like life Is your creation and yours for the taking so dream big, imagine the craziest things, and live how you want to live.

At the end of the day, whether its one of the most immorally wrong songs of the past two decades or one of the funnest things to dance too in Popworld at 2 in the morning on a Saturday night, Aqua’s Barbie Girl is an infamous classic.


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