This is more than a little weird for a few reasons. First of all, who even knew that Denmark had a rockabilly band? I thought that genre was particular to the good ole US of A?
Second, Patricia Days, who is the singer suing Barbie and Mattel is just as angry about her likeness being used for a sexist icon as she is for not getting paid for her likeness being used at all. She contends that she is angry about being subjected to “the erotic male gaze” now that she is being represented as a Barbie doll. Doesn’t she feel the same way when she is appearing on stage with “erotic male gazes” on her as she is performing?
The third weird thing about the whole lawsuit is that Horrorpops was sued by Mattel in 1997 because of the band Aqua’s hit song “Barbie Girl”—Mattel lost the lawsuit because a California court claimed that the song was an obvious parody.
In her complaint, Patricia Day says that the “Hard Rock Café Barbie Doll” does not mention her by name in any of the literature about the doll, but is definitely a replica of her. According to this:
Day's killer detail is her upright bass, "adorned with unique artwork or 'tattoos' on the face of the instrument, including: (1) a blue bird in flight on the upper right; (2) a blue bird in flight on the upper left; (3) a red five-point star on the bottom left; and (4) a red heart on the bottom right."
She says that the Hard Rock Barbie, "not coincidentally, holds a giant tattooed upright bass adorned with the following artwork or 'tattoos' on the face of the instrument: (1) a blue bird in flight on the upper right; (2) a blue bird in flight on the upper left; (3) a pink five-point star on the bottom left; and (4) a pink heart on the bottom right."
The fact that the “Hard Rock Café’s Barbie Doll’s” upright bass has the exact same artwork as the artwork on Patricia Day’s upright bass (which can be clearly seen on one of the band’s album covers) seems more than a little incriminating for Mattel and Barbie. The doll’s hair and make up also bear more than a striking resemblance to Patricia Day’s hair and make up as well. Despite the similarities, Patricia Day hasn’t received any compensation for her work.
Could it be that Mattel and Barbie are seeking retaliation for their loss in court or is it just one of those inexplicable coincidences?
Editor's note: A correction was made to this post. It was the band Aqua who was sued by Mattel for copyright infringement, not the Horrorpops.