Barbie Time

The source that I decided to have a look at was a YouTube video that was done as a kind of satirical and very stereotypical portrayal of Australian identity, additionally the representation of idyllic Australian values. This video posted below was done as an annual Australia Day video by “Lambassador” Sam Kekovich, the film ironically titled “Barbie Girl” was created by a lamb lobby group that apparently stands for ‘Australianism’ and the fight against ‘unAustralianism[1]‘. This video and several others which were posted on popular media site YouTube has caused a lot of hullabaloo with several YouTubers posting comments that voice very different opinions (see below)

The synopsis for the video says: “Pop Culture’s now rife with unAustralian behaviour. Sam’s only antidote is to create ‘Chop Culture’ and go viral himself with his ‘chop song’: “Barbie Girl”. Help Sam get as many hits as possible for his chop hit Barbie Girl to get it to the top of the Nova Australia Day Countdown. You know it makes sense. (Starring pop starlet Melissa Tkautz, Australia’s Got Talent winners Justice Crew and pop guru Richard Wilkins).”

Although this is a very stereotypical and exaggerated opinion about Australian life and identity it does portray a view, however slightly skewed it may be. This view is presented to basically anybody with an internet connection fuelling the speculation and the stereotypes that others may have about Australia. Although anybody can see that this is a very stereotypical and exaggerated view the fact that the video is entitled Australia Day 2012 could confuse some global viewers as a day as symbolic as Australia Day (or their countries equivalent) which symbolises nationalism and the values of Australians can only be interpreted in one way. It can only be received as a video representing Australia and the Australian life. This video not only presents some form of Australia it is a view which has been in a sense endorsed by people of influence in Australia  like Sam Kekovich, Justice Crew, Richard Wilkins and Melissa Tkautz who are ‘celebrities’ in what Kekovich calls ‘Chopular Culture[2]‘ .

This parody of Australia holds some truths and basically features repetitive shots of barbeques, lamb, budgie smugglers, sauce, Australian paraphernalia, tanning, swimming, beach towels and amongst other things pavlova. This lamb lobbyist group presents a picture of Australia which is quite stereotypical and full of symbols of national identity. I mean who doesn’t get the mental picture conjured up when one speaks of budgie smugglers and the internal cringe that immediately follows when you’ve accidently pictured Tony Abbot or this guy.

The video although being ironic with funny rewrites and puns on the universally renowned song Barbie Girl does raise a couple of questions about who we actually are as Australians. I mean are we just a country full of people wearing budgie smugglers that barbeque and eat pavlova constantly whilst tanning in the sun with zinc on our faces and stubbies in our hands? I mean this is the way the video presents us and I guess they intentionally mention very deeply embedded social issues.

One of the issues which i found in the clip was the way Australians act and perceive themselves. All throughout the clip the Australian stereotypes are played by various individuals. They don’t seem to take themselves seriously and that is something which the video really highlights. Also the fact that they can make fun of themselves is another portrayal of in identity which can be seen throughout the satirical side of the clip. Australian pride is highlighted throughout the entire clip with a lot of Australian paraphernalia seen. It really comments on the sort of patriotism or pride that Australians partially younger Australians have. This is seen by the fact that most of the individuals in the clip were young with the odd older person. I actually found the types of Australian stereotypes portrayed were quite fascinating as it wasn’t just one overall generalised serotype it was a collaboration of different serotypes. I think this also commented on the different varieties of people that can be found in Australia and the diversity of characters we have here but alternatively it displayed that no matter what your stereotype Australians have a certain and set of fundamental values which are shared by everyone in the country.

The concept of traditional Anglo Saxon Australians being the majority in the film is quite evident as the majority of the people in the clip are Caucasian with the odd expectation of Justice Crew who are a very ethnically diverse group. Even then it shows that the majority of Australia is Anglo Saxon as Justice Crew are only portrayed as back up dancers to Kekovich. This was something which was done unintentionally but i think it highlights who has the power, or the swaying power in Australia. It kind of commented again on what Australians value and why we value these things. It sort of showed the way Australia great life and that was a s some bug party, and i guess in a sense Australians do that.

From this video I learnt some of the most stereotypical portrayals of Australia but it helped me identify the stereotypes out there as they were basically all included in this clip. So guys remember “we barbie for the nation.”


[1] “Sam Kekovich Takes Aim at Shane Warne, Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga.” NewsComAu. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2012. <http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/kekovich-takes-aim-at-warnie-jacko-and-lady-gaga/story-e6frfmqi-1226241354692&gt;.

[2] Where in this case chopular culture translates into popular culture but with more of a focus on Australianism

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s