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28th May 2018

Understanding the mystery of love using Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ music video

Apparently the secret to finding love lies in dislocating someone's arm, teasing them for a while, then giving it back ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ciara Knight

501 million YouTube viewers can’t be wrong.

Aqua’s 1997 banger ‘Barbie Girl’ is a vibe. Much like Marmite, people either spread Barbie Girl on their toast or throw it directly into the bin. Metaphors are hard.

Given that it’s been 21 years since Barbie Girl exploded onto the pop music scene, you may need reminding the of the utterly batshit music video that accompanied it.

Take all the time you need after that.

Ready? Great. Now then, let’s examine Ken’s mental approach to wooing Barbie, in the hopes of gaining a better insight into how love works.

Ken wears a driving glove to attract Barbie’s affections

Ken’s main objective throughout this video is to shag Barbie, that’s it. The pink convertible, the blue suit, the fake eyebrows, it’s all to get her attention and convince her to go to pound town with him. So why the driving gloves, Kenneth? Do you think they’re going to hinder or help your chances here? Those brown leather gloves with a cutout to prevent overheating are a risky move, especially if the person you’re trying to woo is anyone other than Mick Jagger. Is that marginally better grip on your steering wheel worth dying a virgin over? Is this how to find love?

Ken also wears a thumb ring, presumably to show that he isn’t a creep

Ken. My dude. I can overlook the driving gloves as a misguided accessory that you bought on a whim in TK Maxx on your lunch break. But the thumb ring is a very definite thing. You’ve seen one in a shop, tried it on, clearly didn’t ask for a second opinion, then paid legal tender for it. Maybe you’ve even ordered it specially. The point is that you don’t accidentally acquire a thumb ring, there’s intent and effort heavily involved. Ken doesn’t deserve love. His genitalia-less body shall forever remain untouched whilst it sports a thumb ring, surely?

Ken blow-dries his bald head in preparation for their date

Ken, you have no hair, mate. Aside from a bizarre little hair strip that goes from each ear and loops around the back like the strap from a pair of swimming goggles, there isn’t anything to dry. The area you’re tending to in the video is completely bald. You’re going to dry out your head, maybe even burn your scalp. Barbie’s never going to fancy you then. She’s got options. She’s got an 18″ waist, she can have any man, woman, child or animal that she wants. Step up or step away, Ken. This is no way to procure love.

Ken sunbathes in shorts and a t-shirt to leave a little mystery about his body

The tan lines, Ken. THE TAN LINES. If you’re going to go to the effort of lying out on a deckchair poolside with an accompanying cocktail, the very least you can do is strip off so that I can make fun of your presumably comically sculpted tufts of body hair. This is a joke. I don’t want to see your sensible approach to skin damage, I want to see pale meaty calf muscles with ‘Barbie’ carved out of your leg hair. I want to see it all and so does Barbie. Covering up is a risky move, it doesn’t always guarantee intrigue. Sometimes it garners mass relief.

After failing at sunbathing, Ken goes swimming FULLY CLOTHED

HE’S STILL GOT HIS T-SHIRT AND SHORTS ON! Not only does Ken sunbathe fully clothed, he also endangers his safety in a swimming pool by refusing to take his kit off. Once submerged in water, clothes can retain up to ten times more than their original weight, meaning it’s far more difficult to tread water and stay afloat. Ken is playing a very dangerous game here. Clearly, he wants to drown, but not fully. Just enough for Barbie to rescue him and fall in love. It’s crazy, but it just might work.

For formal attire, Ken slips into a pristine pair of white gloves

Respectfully, what the fuck is the story with the gloves? Ken dolls don’t wear gloves, not even Marine Ken, who comes with the full United States Marine Corps regulation uniform. Barbie is famously repulsed by men that wear gloves. In a 1975 interview with Bunty magazine, she clearly stated that it creeps her out when she can’t see a person’s hands. That’s something Ken should be aware of by now. Instead of inviting her to party, he should be considering her needs and putting them before his own. There’s no way he’s going to woo her.


Ken, if you’re trying to get laid, a good rule of thumb is to never dislocate hers, as well as the rest of her arm. The gang were having a typical night out, which involves playing Ring Around The Rosy by the pool, when Ken accidentally pulled Barbie’s entire arm out of its socket. As far as the art of seduction goes, that’s a bold move. Sure, it was probably quite an uncomfortable experience for Barbie, but now she needs him. She needs him and also her own arm which he is now in possession of. Ken might just be the smoothest motherfucker the world has ever seen.

Rather than giving Barbie back her arm, Ken goads her with it

“Haha you silly one-armed lady, I have your other arm and you’re never getting it back. I fancy you, but also I am positive that mocking your new disability will be the way to your heart. Look, you’re waving at yourself hahaha. Look, Barbie, stop whimpering and look at me, you’re giving yourself the finger hahaha. This is the funniest thing I’ve ever done. I think I might try stand up comedy, I’ve got a very skewed view of the world that everyone needs to hear about. Yes, it is entirely composed of other peoples’ opinions that I’ve stolen from the internet hahaha I am a delight please adore me”.


1997 was a wild time. Love is a lie. Nothing makes sense. You can be an unwavering irritant to someone and they will still fall for you because love is truly a mystery. This is how murderers somehow find spouses in the outside world while they’re serving life sentences behind bars. The heart wants what it wants. ‘Barbie Girl’ is a garbage song with an even more garbage music video. If you’re looking to it for answers, you’re in trouble. Reading this entire article was a cry for help and I hope that you get the assistance you need in finding love. Maybe try an app?

Images via YouTube