Sunday, 24 March 2013

Barbie - Dance Workout with Barbie

I know what you are going to say : “Are you shitting me? How the buggering fuck is Barbie a C-List celebrity, you whoremongering imbecile? Barbie is clearly a fucking A List celebrity if ever there was one.” And you’re right, CLCW reader. You’re harsh and you swear way too much but you’re right.

Barbie is probably the biggest celebrity there is. Except maybe the Queen. And until her Maj decides to release a “Right Royal Workout DVD” this is the starriest workout we’ve featured here.
Barbie has starred in 25 films tackling roles as diverse as Clara in the Nutcracker and Odette in Swan Lake as well as delivering a stunning performance in Toy Story 3.

The Many Faces of Barbie

 She played both the princess and the pauper in an imaginative retelling of the Mark Twain classic story which boldly reinterpreted the slums and political machinations of sixteenth century Britain as a magical fairyland full of pink glitter and wisecracking animals. Which is how Twain would have written it in the first place if he’d been any good.
See, this is how you put a story together
On top of her successful film career, she is also a certified pilot, ballerina, veterinarian, primary school teacher, computer programmer and member of the Starship Enterprise. Actually, forget what I said earlier about the Queen. She’s got nothing on Barbie. Frankly, I think we’re putting the wrong woman’s head on the stamps.

At some point in 1992, Barbie took time out from cheerleading, working at SeaWorld , training as a palaeontologist or whatever else she was doing released a dance workout video.
The video is also fronted by Barbie’s friend, Kim Breux. Well she says ‘friend’. Clearly Kim’s not in Barbie’s league at all but Barb’s a giver. She looks out for the little people. Not physically little in comparison with Barbie, obviously. Giant people.

I am choosing to believe that Kim Breux's surname is pronounced ‘Bro’ because I am saying it that way in my head. In Barney Stinson’s voice

I think Kim may have been a formative influence on Stephanie from Lazy Town who seems to have adopted her perky pink style and relentless enthusiasm as her own. The shiny, shiny leotard that Kim sports does rather make it look as though she is concealing a penis which is unfortunate. Unless of course she does have a penis in which case it’s grand and I fully support her decision to wear tight dancewear.

I was originally concerned that Barbie might pull a ‘Pussycat Dolls’ on us and rather than feature in the video, merely content herself with lending her brand to the exercise. But no! Barbie is on hand throughout the workout to demonstrate the Street Tap and the Sidewalk Strut

She doesn’t quite have the flexibility that she demonstrates nine years later dancing the Pas de Deux in the Nutcracker but what she lacks in believable animation, she more than makes up for in joie de vivre and awesome legwarmers.

As well as Kim, there are a herd of perky American tweens demonstrating the dance moves. They’re the sort of uber-confident little stage-school brats that I would have instinctively hated as a 9 year old. There a ‘freestyle’ section of the dance where everyone is encouraged to express themselves however they want and the dancers can’t help but fall into step with one another. The producers may have misjudged the desirability of ‘doing your own thing’ to girls of this age. Conformity is everything.

Perkiest of all the little princesses is ‘Love’ who bops around next to Kim and wears a look of such deranged enthusiasm that she appears to be tripping.

Turns out that Love is Jennifer Love Hewitt, star of ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ and ‘The Ghost Whisperer’ and author of the seminal discourse on relationships: “The Day I Shot Cupid”.

The workout also features Jennifer Fenton who went on to appear in an episode of Baywatch 4 years later and Arike Rice who has 7 films in her IMDB listing including The Rum Diary as “dancer” and Hairspray as a member of the dance group the Dynamites. She also appeared as “Club Dancer” in Centre Stage: Turn it Up and “Casino Dancer” in Viva Laughlin. Which proves Barbie can spot dancing talent when she sees it.

Although she leaves the bulk of the work to Kim, Barbie is constantly on hand with encouragement. “Great job, everybody!” she says, “You’re wonderful!” and most importantly, “You’re doing fine if you can still say “I’m OK””.

Which is a handy maxim for life. Barbie knows about these things. She’s probably a trained Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
Best Bit
Jennifer Love Hewitt was also responsible for the songs on this video which are a bunch of perky little upbeat numbers which encourage you to don your leotard and bright pink legwarmers and start doing the Barbie Basic. The best move was the Hoppy Bunny. Who doesn’t love a good hop?

Worst Bit
There you are bopping along to Love’s singing and soaking up Barbie’s feelgood spirit like an emotional vampire then suddenly – Bam! – it’s all over. The workout is only 30 minutes long. There are no sections, no separate cool down session, not even a costume change which is something I always look forward to on a C List celebrity workout. Barbie’s costume changes would have been fabulous. I don’t believe for a minute that the woman only has one keep fit outfit.

Of course she doesn't

Difficulty Level
While this wasn’t the hardest dance workout I’ve done, it wasn’t exactly a breeze. I think the manufacturers of this workout were relying on girls in the 6 to 11 bracket relentlessly watching the video over and over again until their moves were perfect and their manic grins were permanently etched on their faces.

Would I do this Workout again?
You know I would but I’m not sure I’m going to have the time. Watching this has made realise the gaping holes in my Barbie film knowledge. Would you believe I’ve not seen one of the Fairytopia oeuvre? Not to mention my shocking lack of understanding of the themes of Barbie: Princess Charm School. If Barbie can take the trouble to become a United States Navy Petty Officer and an Ambassador for World Peace, the very least I can do is fully apprise myself of the extent of her contribution to the arts.

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