Rebekah Ripley - Barbie Girl Floor Routine - BYU Gymnastics - January 7, 2023

In case anyone needs a reminder, “Barbie Girl” wasn’t about playing with dolls.

I fear the satire of a submissive trophy wife might be somewhat lost at BYU.

It reminds me of the time I tried to explain the plot of ‘Billy Elliot’ to my fellow dance teachers here in Moscow.

Me: It’s about a boy from a blue collar family, living in a coal mining town who wants to be a professional ballet dancer.
Russia: and…?!

I think this might be rather the same

It’s about a wife of limited intelligence who says yes to whatever her husband wants and spends a large portion of her time and energy trying to look nice for him
Mormons, and Daria Nagornaya: and…?!

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Very original routine… I like it.

As far as the knee brace goes… I’ve seen many get hurt in gymnastics without knee braces. I’m going to guess that the injuries come from mistakes in gymnastics more than they come from knee braces.


The issue is what happens if you do have an accident whilst wearing a knee brace. It stabilises and protects the joint during normal athletic activity. It does not protect when something goes wrong, and restricts the movement to the extent where it’s not possible to safely make the natural reactions that help to protect the body in that situation

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So you are saying that someone might get hurt if they have an accident and are wearing a functional knee brace?

They might also get hurt if they have an accident and are not wearing the brace.

Everyone knows that knee braces are restrictive and reduce movement… yet they are still worn by athletes all the time.

I guess I am not understanding your point?


And I am saying that they should not be

I don’t know what point you are making. Who wouldn’t prefer that?

I am making the point that the poster who commented that the routine was “paedo” was frankly being very gross and inappropriate

Sigh. I can’t explain it further.

If you have an accident in a brace, the extent of your injuries will be worse than if you have the same accident without a brace.

Braces do not protect in the event of an accident, they protect against repetition wear

That’s the point I thought you were making… there is no data on this.


And those knee braces are designed specifically to prevent the knee twisting beyond the normal range of motion, thus preventing another ACL tear. They are not a brace to protect against an overuse injury.

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Then why wouldn’t everyone wear them all the time on both legs, and we’d never see any ACL injuries? If there’s no disadvantage to wearing them

I didn’t say their was no disadvantage to wearing them. I actually said…

I am just saying that what you said does not always hold true…

The above does not always hold true… period.

I understand your argument… it’s very similar to the reasoning for many not doing knee drops on trampoline anymore. When you do a knee drop… there is no other joint to give out besides the spine if the hips give forward… so there is a greater risk of back injury performing a knee drop.

When the knee is able to blow out / move more… it could reduce the load on other things… sure. However… there is also the possibility that the knee brace keeps the knee from blowing out and there is no other injury.


I just find it uncomfortable to see a married 23 year old woman dressed up like a little kid with pigtails, doing dolly dancing to a song about being a mans sexual plaything. The lyrics are pretty clear if you google them Is that what we want young gymnastics fans to look up to? Is that the role model we want to put out there? Not for me sorry.


Criticizing a married woman for performing to a suggestive song is a little odd. We can be a little puritanical over here in the USA, but last I checked married people expressing sexuality was more socially acceptable.

Whether she’s married or not is completely irrelevant here. What is being debated is the context of the routine. Is she playing a doll, or a little girl. To me, she’s playing a doll and I don’t find the routine particularly sexualised compared with many others in NCAA. I do get what Bob means though, it’s very difficult to look at anything in NCAA because the whole thing is completely sexualised and in that context, the juvenile nature of this particular routine, can stand out as particularly uncomfortable

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I guess I’m desensitized to sexualization in NCAA gymnastics since it’s far from the campiest/most sexualized sport I watch. IMO this routine is a nice choice for kids and seemed completely normal. Also children don’t know what “Barbie Girl” is about.

How is it odd in this context? Expressing sexuality is fine in the proper time and place. Publicly, in a gymnastics competition, dressed up like a little doll it is downright unsavory. Especially given the recent abuse scandal in this sport.

It seems like much of NCAA gymnastics has become about chasing the viral dream. Everyone wants to be that floor routine that ends up getting millions of views