Telus Spark sure knows how to throw a party! In this case it is a Barbie party. The whole museum is dedicated to the world’s most popular doll. Think pink, fashion, and the power of femininity. All the things that make Barbie great. Since the release of the live action movie, “Barbie” people all over the world have become re-enchanted with the iconic blonde bombshell. Since Ruth Handler first created the doll in 1959, it swept the world of women into endless possibilities. As Barbie has become a symbol of what women can do (she has had so many top paying professions) one wonders if this party here in Calgary shows that. Here are the list of pros and cons of the 18+ Party: Paint the Night Pink.
Décor: The theme of Barbie is very apparent. From the pink balloons to the giant pink shoe and the pink convertible. The scene is shining with pink lights, big glittering Bs are dangling from the ceiling, and the fashion runaway that gives off a surfer girl beach vibe. With a whole museum covered in this one colour you think would be cloying but, in this case, it was a wonderland for Barbie fans of all walks of life. Totally cool!
Entertainment: Drag show, fashion show, and circus show. Those were just for starters. Some of the crew for Telus Spark also went around and did some scientific demonstrations that dazzled the eyes. A lot like the stilt walker with light up hula-hoops, and the aerial performer twisting around on the suspending hoop. Thank you, Cirque de la Nuit! The drag show had claps, laughs, and toe-tapping fun featuring Misty Meadows, Queen Valerie Hunt, and much more. Need I say more?
Music: DJ Sonidef sure knows their tunes. Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, and Taylor Swift were featured on the playlist as well all the great beats from the Barbie movie. All the songs that a person can find on the radio were featured too. It is hard not to sway to these songs, tap your foot, and sing along. The music playing was the one of the best parts of the night.
Activities: What is a party without some fun things to do? There was Karaoke, getting your hair styled by the ladies of Painted Pretty in a sweet salon pop-up, or trying out their virtual reality station. It was also fun to talk to Barbie on the artificial intelligence station that was upstairs. She has a lovely speaking voice and has a lot to say.
Cocktails: California styled cocktails for those who love a colourful concoction both in taste and appearance. The pink martini that they created had vodka, prosecco, club soda, and dragon fruit syrup. It was bubbly, sweet, and light-hearted. Kind of like the way you would play with a Barbie in your childhood. The other had two different kinds of rum, blue curacao, and pineapple juice. It looked like a clear blue sky on a sunny beach. The perfect summery drink.
Exhibit: Lastly is the exhibit that shows the history of Barbie. How from 1959 in Ruth Handler’s home where she was created to a present-day phenomenon. Barbie reflected many different cultures, professions, and something of a fashion trendsetter. Little girls from all over the world were inspired by this toy and yet it still has so many stories to tell. With more than 150 vintage dolls, life-sized outfits, and other interesting artifacts, there is so much to explore.
Prices: Everything there was way over-charged or it should have come with the price of the ticket. They had a cupcake and bubbles station in the children’s area. It costs $19 to partake in this. Come on people! You can get 6 cupcakes for $20. As for the bubbles it is not the kind you blow but the kind you drink. Even that drink was very small and not worth the money. The cocktails that were mentioned above, although delicious costs $18 each. This is a perfect example of how you can lose a lot of money here and it seems very unnecessary.
Lack of Knowledge/Understanding: The staff here is friendly and approachable, sadly they did not know a lot about what is happening at this event. There seemed to be only one bar in the place. When one of the staff/volunteers was approached with the question. “Is there another bar in the museum?” They said, “no.” Low and behold, there was a second bar on the second floor. Next time there is a party make sure that everyone involved can answer some much-needed questions like that one.
Some of the Speakers: The talk about “Empowering women” was excellent. It is important that we as women lift each other up and cheer each other on. That is what this talk was about. Sadly, there was one lecture that talked about facial symmetry, having high self-esteem, and being authentic. That was all well and good but then they talked about getting Botox injections. That was where all that talk about authenticity and self-love went out the window. Sorry but a lot of us do not buy the fact that you have to get some kind of chemical enhancement in order to love yourself.
Who knew that pop culture and fashion trends would become the international sensation that is packed into one tiny figurine? Barbie is so many different things to many different people but one thing we can all agree on is that her influence inspires so many girls to achieve everything they could ever want to be and then some. A global icon that with the power of play had taught us how to connect with other people, see diverse viewpoints, and evolve our relationships without falling to pieces. So, if you take anything from this party, it is to celebrate who you are and play as much as you can. Come on Barbie! Let’s go party.
Special Thanks goes to:
Telus Spark Science Centre: For throwing this party. The good, the bad, the out-of-place. https://www.sparkscience.ca/
David Porcello: For providing the doll collections. https://www.facebook.com/DavidPorcelloBarbieCollection/
Mattel: For Barbie in general. https://about.mattel.com/