When America isn't busy searching for the best way to make Mentos and Diet Coke explode, it apparently unwinds by lip-syncing to Aqua's '90s dance-club hit "Barbie Girl," judging from the volume of homemade music videos out there. And while women in pigtails and lipstick manage the prancing and hair tossing pretty well, it's the male Barbies who have stolen our hearts.
We can't be sure what makes pairs of men with a camera and the itch to dance decide on "Barbie Girl" more often than, say, the Spice Girls' "Wannabe," but something about the song's ready-made roles and plot (the car scenario, the flirtatious yet chaste Barbie, the horny Ken) has undeniable appeal.
Although most of the male Barbies seem to have launched their careers in recent months, one notable pioneer back in 2004 cleared the way for all Barbie men to come. Here he is, dancing around his college dorm room. Even as an early arrival, he's already channeling what will become a Barbie-man video subgenre: the stripping Ken.
Thanks to U-Barbie's early success, these Turkish men were able to head straight to the top of video portals when they debuted this year and introduced the scruffy Barbie 'stache.
The Turks inspired a pair of imitators who re-created the originals' facial hair patterns using what looks like electrical tape.
This Barbie continues the Turkish trend by using a shirt to suggest hair.
Barbie keeps her international tour alive, moves on to Poland.
Channeling the egalitarian essence of Barbie, the Polish boys swap roles.
Barbie hits some midcareer turbulence and decides to go solo.
But a reunion concert ensures her place in the canon of Internet performers.