Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not 'Barbie Girls'

<--- NOT a 'Barbie Girl'

I went into the kitchen this morning to find my niece, 5, happily singing the strains of Aqua's "Barbie Girl." For those who haven't heard it, "Barbie Girl" is a bouncy piece of techno-pop tripe, the sort of stuff you'd hear being played at the local gym. In it, the singer basically portrays the stereotypical materialistic, plastic blond bimbo embodied by Barbie. Its lyrical gems include:

I'm a barbie girl, in the barbie world
Life in plastic, it's fantastic!
you can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation

I'm a blond bimbo girl, in the fantasy world
Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly
You're my doll, rock'n'roll, feel the glamour in pink,
kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky...

You can touch, you can play, if you say: "I'm always yours"

Now, I have no problem with the song itself. It's not my favorite, but it doesn't offend my delicate sensibilities or anything like that. It's not the kind of thing I particularly want my 5 year old niece singing, but oh well. No, the part I objected to was where she heard it.

Also NOT a 'Barbie Girl'---->
She went with her mom and her brother (my sister-in-law and my nephew) to a Lego engineering competition that my nephew was competing in. It is sponsored by various groups whose purpose is to encourage kids' interest in engineering. As related by my sister-in-law, "Barbie Girl" was played during the time that the all-girl team, comprised of Girl Scouts, was putting their Lego robot through its paces.

As I heard this, I could only think that this showed remarkably poor judgment on the part of the organizers of this Lego competition. Aside from the obvious fact that this event is for *little kids* who really don't need to hear the sexual-innuendo-laced lyrics, the event is intended to attract kids to engineering. One of the sponsors was an organization for female engineers & scientists. That suggests to me that they are trying to reach out to little girls. So how does "Barbie Girl" end up playing while the only girl team is competing? Isn't that sending the exact wrong message? You're trying to encourage girls into engineering, and playing a song that depicts bimbos? Someone, somewhere, is just clearly not thinking at all.

On the upside, despite this stupid music selection, the Girl Scout team won the competition. :0)