Yesterday, my daughter and I were in the car and an old familiar song started playing. It's one I've heard a MILLION times and always thought it was a little crude but it was just an annoying song from my own childhood. Then I heard my 10-year-old sing it and my heart sank.

Since the Barbie movie release, Barbiemania has taken over the US so it's no surprise the 1997 hit "Barbie Girl" by Aqua is popping up on airwaves and streams. It's even featured at the end of the main trailer.

"Barbie Girl" was a HUGE hit throughout the world and one of the best-selling singles of all time. And if you were near a radio or TV playing music videos in the late Nineties, this song is just part of your DNA now.

So, what's the big deal?

Well, let's take a closer look at those lyrics.

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
Come on, Barbie, let's go party
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

Okay, so most of this is pretty PG, right? And in a pre-teen's mind, the "undress me" part could be the dialogue of an actual doll. Hopefully, she's still innocent enough to not grasp the adult nature of the line.

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Let's keep going...

I'm a blonde bimbo girl in a fantasy world
Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly
You're my doll, rock and roll, feel the glamor in pink
Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky-panky

Though she probably doesn't know what "hanky-panky" is besides the nickname we called her uncle's overweight dachshund named Hank, the "Kiss me here, touch me there" line gives me pause. No, pre-teens should not be singing that. But it's the "I'm your dolly" line that really lights me up. I'm raising my daughter to be a strong, independent woman. This shouldn't be any young lady's anthem.

Moving on (and skipping a few lines)...

Make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please
I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees
Come jump in, bimbo friend, let us do it again
Hit the town, fool around, let's go party

You can touch, you can play
If you say I'm always yours
You can touch, you can play
If you say I'm always yours

Now, I'm 100% sure my daughter doesn't know all the words, but she knew enough to ask me what was going on with this song and I had to have a discussion with her about healthy relationships. It's not okay for anyone to call you names and it's really not okay to be anyone's plaything or become someone's property.

I'm no "granola mom" but music has a way of speaking to the soul. At no point, do I want my daughter to think or feel like an object so we'll save our singalongs for more positive messaging.

Speaking of, shout out to Ava Max for her 2023-friendly revamp.

I guess Barbie's maker Mattel had the same mindset I do about the song. Six months after the song's release in 1997, MCA Records, Aqua's North American record label. According to wikipedia, "Mattel claimed that "Barbie Girl" violated their trademark and turned her into a sex object, referring to her as a "blonde bimbo." The lawsuit was dismissed by both lower courts and even the Supreme Court. 

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Petting Zoos Within Driving Distance of the Tri-State

Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer animals over people most days. I tell my boyfriend all of the time that when we retire, I want a little plot of land with some cows, goats, pigs, chickens, and a whole lot of dogs. A girl can dream, right?
Sadly, since I can't have my own farm anytime soon, I guess I will settle for enjoying other people's animals, which means frequenting petting zoos and farms is pretty common for us. Luckily, I don't have to drive far to pet all the animals I can fit into a day.
From elephants to highland cattle to Clydesdales and a coatimundi, the tristate offers a wide variety of petting zoos that can be visited in a short day trip. Next thing you know, you'll be making your own list of animals to have on your own dream farm like me.

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