The song Barbie girl from the Scandinavian group Aqua has a catchy and perhaps obsessive melody, as well as a fairly elementary phrase structure:
- repetitive verbal patterns;
- unpretentious text;
- apparent elementality of the text.
However, behind this cover, in fact, there is a rather powerful criticism of the consumer society, the harmful aspects of capitalism, and the degradation of moral values.
Song Story Barbie Girl by Aqua
Curiously, the corporation that makes Barbie dolls initially sued Aqua, whose musicians were quick to point out that the song was a social statement.
By the way, the court later recognized the parodic nature of the composition.
One way or another, after some time (and, relatively recently, in 2009), Mattel, which makes Barbie, used Aqua’s music and modified text to advertise their dolls.
Why this story? In fact, if one traces these funny transformations, it becomes possible to better understand not only the meaning of the song, but also the socio-cultural context in which it exists and, it must be emphasized, continues to exist.
The meaning of barbie girl
We recommend listening to the song and reading the translation to improve perception.
The song tells the story of a Barbie doll, which clearly personifies the type of a primitive, let’s say, glamorous girl. However, the authors not only ridicule this edition, but make it clear that such girls are only part of the corresponding way and in many ways empathize with this situation. For example, with a couple of incredibly accurate phrases, the authors point to the problem of patriarchy and the actual exploitation of women. Of course, such an obvious hint is given in the very concept of the song, where a modern girl is compared to a doll.
However, phrases such as: “You can comb me… undress me anywhere” give more violent and disgusting connotations, which are more associated with a barbie girl with an object of violence, who can be treated as she pleases, according to her own whim. In fact, this piercingly painful statement of reality is similar to Kurt Cobain’s Polly song, a song about the rape of a young girl by a serial maniac, whom he tortures for many days in a row. The lyrical hero in Cobain’s song compares the girl with Polly’s pet parrot, who, like Barbie, becomes a toy in the hands of a conditional owner.
Success, Meditations and Affirmations
On the other hand, Aqua shows the rather primitive world of the barbie girls themselves, who live in a candy world and somewhat agree with their role. Such an understanding is given by the phrase: “Imagination. Life is your creation”, which is spoken on behalf of Barbie. In translation, imagination sounds like imagination, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say something like the power of thought or the power of intention. In general, the phrase is a rather frank tracing-paper from the typical attitudes of various life coaches or pseudo-gurus from the non-esoteric party that so attracts the likes of Barbie. The power of intention. Life is your creation.
Curiously, Aqua accurately describes this edition and the description remains relevant to this day:
- movie Secret;
- wish boards;
- affirmations and intention;
- Theta Healing, Karma Peeling.
And all this attracts masses of mostly female audience who want to live in this candy world. The only problem is that this world is fake.
The most interesting thing is that the authors put two parsed phrases in a row: first about Barbie’s humility (you can touch, comb, undress) and immediately after about Imagination (use the power of intention, open the inner goddess and create your own life) and here an incredibly powerful artistic technique is achieved.