Alien Newsletter #26: Universal Omnipresence Barbie
In which our alien attempts to penetrate the mysteries of Barbiecore
Network Note: During our ongoing examination of our alien’s occasional transmissions to its home planet, we have never determined if it has ever undergone a form of childhood or extended play as all humans do on planet earth. Because of this, it has taken a bit of time for us to recognize that it has been focusing on what for most of us, is a toy from our childhood named Barbie. The source of its ongoing interest seems to be from the current Barbiecore trend spinning off from the upcoming movie with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. But as we all know, the Barbie doll itself has secured an immovable position in international pop culture since premiering its svelte and hyper-accessorized form as a Mattel toy in 1959. While it has taken on many shapes and ethnicities since then, its idealized lifestyle has faced equal parts scorn and admiration from legions of commentators, collectors and fans, and enduring devotion from young girls everywhere regardless. The fact that she doesn’t really exist is generally taken for granted — but that assumption is reserved for humans, and not for aliens, as we soon discovered from our alien’s latest missive.
Note #2: Many of these observations were collected over a series of months, as for this exploration, the alien did some fairly extensive investigations, for reasons that will become clearer as the piece commences.
I hope you will forgive me, my colleagues, for what I am about to say to you, because I know you have warned me numerous times not to become attached to the entities that we report upon. There are good reasons for this, since there have been times when we’ve had to exterminate lifeforms that got a bit too testy, and sometimes, we have even exterminated some of our own correspondents with them, since they chose them over us. I have never understood the urge some have felt to do this… until now.
For I have been introduced as of late to a wondrous being, filled with light and air, with a delicately painted face and a curvaceous, cavity-free torso. Having held over 200 supersimian careers during her lifetime, she is impervious to age, disease or decay of any sort. Over 60 years old, she nevertheless holds so many of this planet’s younger Greatest Apes in an eternal utopian playspace. For now and forever.
Her name is Barbie. And I feel utterly devoted to her.
I simply must meet this Greatest Ape, no matter where she lives. I have been finding it quite difficult to locate her, however, for even though there are replicas of her all over the world, not to mention movies, websites, fashion lines, songs, automobiles, houses and hundreds of millions of mass-produced figurines bearing her likeness and evanescent aesthetic. Yet whoever the actual Barbie is or wherever it is she may live eludes me — for now. But I am quite determined to meet this Greatest Ape. I respectfully submit that if we were to bring her back to our planet, we should be able to clone yet diversify our species in an endless amount of vital yet eminently marketable ways. With that, I shall end this communication, in the hopes that the next time you hear from me, it will be with this GA by my side, making plans for our own intergalactic dream house. I shall keep you informed of my progress.
Several Weeks Later…
Since your last response to me, I have become acquainted with the volatile destructive inner force referred to by the Greatest Apes as “rage,” this for two distinct reasons. The first is my discovery of a deeply insignificant other that stands in the way of my ultimate aim. This Lowest Ape happens to be named Ken, and from what I have learned, he has been a longtime partner of Barbie, and I cannot understand at all what she sees in him.
My understanding is that a window opened for entities such as myself back in 2004, when Mattel, a company who creates the likenesses of Barbie, announced that the two needed “to spend quality time — apart.” However, Barbie quickly pivoted towards a similarly vapid Australian (as if there were any other kind) named Blaine, and after a quick makeover by Ken, the two were back together in 2011.
I recognize that I have gone against protocol in doing this, but I found this group of male GAs online that call themselves incels, and they seemed to understand my plight so well. However, they all ridiculed me when I revealed my fascination with Barbie, and asked them how I could track her down. When one of them derisively posted, “What PLANET are you from?”, I immediately pulled back, fearful that my cover had been blown. But it still weighs on me, because even the incels suggested that Barbie for some reason was unobtainable for someone other than myself. While it is true that my current visible form is virtually undetectable by GAs that are not undergoing a unique form of mental illness, I know that entities in our civilization have prided ourselves on adaptation to a variety of galactic scenarios.
And that’s what I want her to know.
I can change.
A few months later…
So I have begun to realize that I am not the only one that is fixated on Barbie. As a matter of fact, this woman seems to act as the nexus of an entire ecosystem of clothes, toys, cars, architecture, fashion, media and design, not to mention a group of GAs which have poured continuous resources into this endeavor ever since Barbie was born. This fixation has become particularly pointed since the beginning of the pandemic, especially since a hotly anticipated persistent-vision teleplay is currently being constructed — although oddly enough, without the real Barbie and Ken playing themselves.
It would appear that many of these GAs who mimic the Barbie aesthetic seem to do it for some of the same reasons I have pursued her. There seems to be an enduring, childlike comfort attached to this woman and her lifestyle, which endlessly adjusts to all of the changing fashions and mores of the GAs while retaining a timeless, eternally youthful core. I sense that in Barbie’s Dreamhouse, you could survive hurricanes, an asteroid hurtling towards the earth or a supernova. It can absorb and welcome anything.
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Our own galactic confederation has not tended to respond well to civilizations that did such a thing successfully. I am considering the [unintelligible shriek] that was able to colonize the waste products of every civilization in our confederation and get them to communicate and demand greater rights to more resources than those they found in our sewers and landfills. Given that our main response was to shunt them out towards the nearest gravity well in the middle of our galaxy, we certainly didn’t find the waste’s activism particularly legitimate. And there are many who remain uncharmed by Barbie, choosing to place her in blenders and maim her doll likenesses. Sacrilegious as I find such activity, it has continually failed to destroy her empire.
Recognizing this has only increased my desire to meet this extraordinary entity and invite her to join us in the confederation. I am certain that Barbie’s skills are wasted amongst the GAs, and can be placed towards a more efficient, durable and pinker galaxy for us all.
Three Months Later…
I don’t know how to say this without revealing something awful about myself. But after several months of searching, it is apparent that Barbie really does not exist at all — at least, not in the way I had originally imagined.
Similar to how the GAs envision Santa Claus to be, Barbie was apparently invented by this mysterious Mattel that I have mentioned a few weeks ago. There is no real Barbie girl, in her Barbie world, waiting for me to whisk her away to the heavens.
There is no Ken either, so at least there is that.
I distinctly recall how before I was sent down here to begin my sojourn on this planet, I was told that many millennia ago, there was some cross-breeding between our race and the GAs. It is hinted at in some of the creation myths of several of their tribes, with some notable mistakes. Pyramids, for instance — what do we need those for? But I digress.
What it does mean is that as I begin to understand these creatures better, I begin to see the things in myself that I share in common with them. And it does appear that things like emotions — desire, rage, jealousy commingled with tenderness and virtue — can set many a living creature that has them on all sorts of foolish, self-destructive paths, before they finally, hopefully subside.
Perhaps that is simply not enough for the council, so I will leave it up to you to make the decision for yourself. I can only hope that you may have learned something from my folly, and how a well-designed trend can get the better of so many creatures that you would think might be immune to its charms. And I do want to say something about my thoughtless insult towards the Australians and ensure you that they are actually wonderful and capable people and they really shouldn’t be angry at me at all and I am utterly not saying this under duress.
I mean, why on earth would you think that of me?
In a ritual I presume must have been carried out by robot leaders since the dawn of civilizations, Botnode 8 brings a common home appliance to his newest conquest to exhibit dominance.
The “Planetary Defense Coordination Office” may have hit their first asteroid. But I can assure you they’re no match for our fleets, should we choose to deploy, if that’s any comfort.
One of the good things about my station on earth is seeing sights you just can’t see on any other planet. I leave you with one of them.
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