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Barbie and Kylie re-package sexualisation

And in Kylie Minogue's case, it is skin-tight packaging....
And in Kylie Minogue's case, it is skin-tight packaging....

Have you heard Kylie Minogue's catchy new track 'Padam, Padam' yet? Apparently actress Nicole Kidman had it on "on repeat all weekend". 'I thought it was an Edith Piaf song', some of you may be murmuring. And yes, you're right, the French icon did do a song of that title back in 1951.

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The version by "the artist still somewhat recognisable as Kylie Minogue" (Kathleen Stock for Unherd) is catchy yet drowsy.

The video is heavy with the trappings of sexuality - thigh-high stilettos, langorous poses, pouting red lips - yet curiously impersonal.

"I know you wanna take me home / and take off all my clothes...."

As the perenially popular Australian songbird, 55, chats amicably with a little girl, and hangs out with her crew in a junkyard, the seductive lyrics hang oddly unattended in the air, their thrust invited yet repelled by the scarlet clingfilm wrapping Kylie.

Barbie virtually re-brands reality

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Meanwhile another legend, Barbie, comes alive in what looks like being a major summer blockbuster this year - a Greta Gerwig movie named after the 60-something doll. It's crammed with top talent, including the iconic Helen Mirren and comedy king Will Ferrell. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling star as dolls-come-to-life Barbie and Ken. 

'Humans only have one ending; ideas last forever'

Barbie has proved a controversial figure over the years since her birth in March, 1959, largely due to a body type which became associated with objectification and over-sexualisation of women.

However, she continues to evolve, and not just keep up with the times but enjoy raging success:

It's estimated that 100 Barbie dolls - now available in a huge range of appearances - are sold every minute across the world

"Barbie was the first doll to emulate an adult woman, rather than just being a helpless little figure that needed looking after" (60-something grandmother, about Barbie's age)

"My friend and I quote jokes and lines from the Barbie animated movies to each other all the time, it's our way of communicating" (20-something student)

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This trailer seems to indicate that the live actors movie has some aces up its sleeve in terms of keeping up with the times too as toy, traditional and virtual realities clash in a rose-tinted world of firm fun.


Posted by Tree Elven on 30/06/2023

Keywords: Barbie the Movie, Kylie Padam Padam, sexualisation, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling

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