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“Our Video On Steroids”: Barbie Girl Band Reveal Initial Reactions To Movie’s Similar Style

The band Aqua reveals their initial reaction to Barbie’s style similarities with their “Barbie Girl” music video. The Europop group released “Barbie Girl” in 1997 on their debut album Aquarium, and the song became a fast hit. After rumors that “Barbie Girl” would not feature in Greta Gerwig’s film, Barbie ultimately included a remixed version of the song featuring Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj alongside Aqua.

Aqua reveals their first reactions to Barbie’s aesthetics in an interview with The Guardian. Singer Lene Nystrøm pointed out the similarities between Barbie and the band’s original “Barbie Girl” music video, such as the “styling” of halter crop tops, cargo pants, and more 90s looks. Check out the full quote from Nystrøm below:

Since its 1997 release, “Barbie Girl” has become almost as iconic as the doll brand itself. So, it was shocking when it was initially announced that the “Barbie Girl” song would not appear in Barbie. Its exclusion at the time was chalked up to Aqua’s past legal trouble with Mattel, who filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against MCA records. The claims were later dismissed, but the relationship between Aqua and Mattel remains heated to this day.


Barbie not only came around to include “Barbie Girl,” but it embraced its aesthetics. As Nystrøm and Dif note, there are multiple elements of Barbie’s Barbieland–from the aggressively pink landscape and outfits to the uncanny sprinkling in of live-action people against an ostensibly artificial backdrop that is maintained from the “Barbie Girl” video. As it did with the “Barbie Girl” song, Barbie updates aspects of this aesthetic, but still plays loving homage to Aqua’s song along the way.

As Barbie star Margot Robbie recognized in an interview, one cannot “do a Barbie movie and not have a nod to Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’.” Barbie ultimately does more than just a nod, for it both includes a remix of the song and is influenced by its videos. So, despite the initial setback of including “Barbie Girl,” fans of the song and its music video luckily got what they were looking for with Barbie.

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