The past few days the song “I’m a Barbie girl” sung by Aqua, has been stuck in my head. Usually when a song is stuck in my head, I just listen to it until it goes away again. However, this time is different, because there are certain parts of the lyrics in the song that are bothering my logic.
The small parts
The song starts with a conversation between Barbie and her Prince Ken. This prince asks her to go for a ride and she says sure. If Barbie and Ken are friends and they go for a ride, then I’m not judging this part of the song. On the other hand, if they just met, it means that Barbie, like an airhead, just goes for a drive with a stranger, who might be a serial killer or a rapist or whatever… Moving on.
At the same time, we’re creating bimbo girls, because the song acknowledges that Barbie is a bimbo and hey, the bimbo gets the prince according to Barbie logic right? Which (young) girl wouldn’t want to be swept off her feet by prince charming? However this prince isn’t so charming if you listen to the rest of the song. After prince Ken takes advantage of Barbie, he says, “Come jump in, bimbo friend, let us do it again, hit the town, fool around, let’s go party”. This means he loves the fact that she’s an easy idiot. If you look at it in this way, the song also has a bad influence on (young) boys. They will hear the song, think every girl is an idiot and try to take advantage of every girl they meet. Hence, players are created.
The parts of the “Barbie Girl” song that really bother me
So maybe because this song refers to an actual Barbie doll it shouldn’t bother me, but in the second verse Barbie sings “You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere”. How is this a positive thing to let young girls listen to? If they take it literally, we’ll have little submissive, “easy” girls in society in no time. Maybe I’m thinking too far, but this might be the reason why some girls will start behaving slutty. The forgotten argument: “Barbie said he/they could undress me everywhere”.
The part that bothers me the most is the end of one of the verses: “You can touch, you can play, if you say, “I’m always yours.” This part really gives me goosebumps, in a bad way, because Barbie doesn’t even ask for any kind of commitment. You just have to say that she will always be yours. Don’t we all know that men lie to get what they want?
Side note: I did write “men lie” but this is a human thing. Everyone does it (so yes women too).
The other sexual references in “I’m a Barbie girl”
After Barbie admits to being a bimbo in a fantasy world – so logic says she’s definitely not a realist – she also says “Dress me up, make it tight, I’m your dolly”. From the “make it tight” part I would like to conclude that they mean that she wears tight clothing. I hope they’re referring to that and not Barbie’s vagina…
After this part, Ken replies “You’re my doll, rock’n’roll, feel the glamour in pink, Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky…” As much as I would love to defend the song, I can’t on this part, because everyone knows what hanky panky refers to. This is an obvious sexual reference, especially in the context “kiss me here, touch me there”. The “feel the glamour in pink” part doesn’t make the song seem any less innocent either.
In short: Parents, be critical about what you let your children listen to/ watch. What seems innocent, might not be!