This is what Barbie would call each University of Exeter hall their dream house

Spoilers ahead: One of you lot had to be Midge

In the last few weeks, the indulgently pink film Barbie debuted in cinemas, and Ken, oh Ken, was every detail, right down to the last stitch on those paisley palazzo pants, worth the wait. 

Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster made history as the biggest opening weekend for a female director, grossing $162 million in the U.S and $356 million worldwide. No crumbs were left, since obviously food in Barbie land is plastic.

Whilst watching the film, sporting a Ken outfit that, super awkwardly, is readily found in an Exeter lad’s wardrobe, I couldn’t help but think, what Barbie am I? Okay. That wasn’t my first thought. Truthfully, my first thought was having a beach off with Simu Liu. But soon after…which Exeter Uni accommodation would each Barbie call their dreamhouse?

Trade in your signet rings and baccy pouches for some neon rollerblades, we’re Barbie girls in an Exeter world.

1. Penny C as Stereotypical Barbie

Where better to start if not with Stereotypical Barbie. I feel the need to disclaim that all these suggestions are just a bit of fun but, really, you Penny C lot are the Exeter stereotype. Coming in a Barbie box, your outfits are limited to Gymshark, Urban Outfitters and your Exeter stash. Accessories included: a pair of ski sunglasses, a MacBook and a vanilla iced coffee.

Singing your praises, nothing quite beats a Penny C party. Never anything big: Just a giant blowout party, with all of the residents and a planned theme with chain smokers choreographed in the rhythm of puff, puff, pass. I wouldn’t go turning down the chance to stop by.

2. East Park as Mermaid Barbie

As the newest accommodation on campus, East Park would be home to Dua Lipa’s *hmm* amateur portrayal of Mermaid Barbie. Acting opposite the star-studded cast, she is all too clearly new to acting: and no IMBd, music videos don’t count. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always turn up for Dua Lipa the singer but listening to her deliver the very simple lines of “Hi Barbie!” and “Bye Barbie!” is enough to take anyone from high-heel to flat feet. The newest of Exeter dreamhouses for the new girl.

A side eye: something in the water turns you East Parkers crazy for some suspicious hair changes, making you more like Mermaid Barbie, with her unquestionably questionable wig.

3. Holland Hall as Sugar Daddy Ken

If you haven’t watched the film, you’re probably thinking: surely Gerwig didn’t feature the discontinued 2009 Sugar Daddy Ken doll. But, oh yes! And, it was lucky she did since anyone from Holland Hall would’ve been delighted to see their representation. Holland has always been the dreamhouse for the catered, sheltered and sugar-daddy-cuffed boarding elite (shout out to Seeking Arrangements).

Aloof by geography and in nature, the expensive accommodation overlooks all those considered peasants below. A reflection of where its residents sit on Exeter’s social food-chain. Between this and your scheduled meal times – like the deep-pocketed pensioners yourselves waiting for their daily meds – if you aren’t the sugar baby, you yourself might have future sugar parent written on your forehead.

4. St David’s as Weird Barbie

To be honest, in similar articles, no Exeter Tab reporter has been able to pin St David’s down. Weird Barbie is therefore the best answer there is for the huge question mark that is this accommodation.

A past resident of St David’s told The Exeter Tab, “I will take [Weird Barbie] brazenly”. I had to google the use of the word “brazenly”, enough said.

5. Lafrowda as Beach Ken

Lafrowda, Lafrowda. Eventually, you become the villain of every Exeter student. A reminder that a Birks student has a great day every day but a Lafrowda student only has a great day if a non-Lafrowdan reminds you how jealous they are of your accommodation. You need the validation. Sure, you got everyone’s first pick but down the line, blonde fragility, villainy and the realisation that you’re number two waits.

You’ll indulge your flat like Ken’s Mojo Dojo Casa House: sticky note faces, spoof flags of McLovin’s ID and carboard cut outs of Hasbulla will smother the windows. Strap in for those long term, short distance, low commitment, casual relationships – the character growth is going to need some real deal Kenergy.

6. Old Lafrowda as Midge

Unfortunately, little reasoning needs to be given here. Midge’s initial appearance is quickly cut short by the narrator instructing the cameraman to “not show Midge actually”. The yuppie student ambassadors employed a similar technique when it came to Old Laf.

Standing comparatively barren of colour next to its predecessor, Old Lafrowda offers only cramped corridors as optimal vantage points to look upon what could’ve been. Best to embrace the Midge identity and discontinue this accommodation.

7. Birks as President Barbie

“Are you President Barbie?” “I am. You’re welcome.” A perfect mix of party and work, President Barbie proves that you can have the best of both worlds: hustling hard in the library and grafting even harder in the Fever smoking area. She’s got motivation and she’s got direction, which is exactly what you need to gaslight yourself with if you’re ever making it up Cardiac Hill.

A side eye: It was tempting to have Birks as Barbenheimer after having the iconic WWII bomb evacuation era. But, for consistency’s sake, I had to rob you of that one. Besides, you’re considered the one Barbie cool enough to get away with semi-swearing in a PG-13.

8. St German’s as Tourist Ken

Bless St German’s. Relevant enough but always the bridesmaid and never the bride. The movie begins with Tourist Ken coming between Stereotypical Barbie and Beach Ken similar to how St German’s tries to run with Lafrowda and Penny C.

That being said, you’ve gotten better in recent years so, credit given when credit is due, consider yourself validated enough when compared to a back-flipping Simu Liu with a side of digitally added glittery sparkle effects.

9. Any other off campus accommodation as Allan

Ironically, the film’s narrator first introduces the side character with the claim “[t]here are no multiples of Allan”, instead “[h]e’s just Allan”. Yet, unless stated otherwise above, all off campus accommodations make up multiple of Allan since, how can you be a main character Exonian if you don’t feature on campus every morning?

Though not a leading role, you are an MVP in other people’s stories. During the film’s third act, Allan serves up allyship central with the Barbs. Bless, Ken’s best buddy just wants to escape the politics of the who’s who of who’s in charge of Barbieland. And similarly, the off campus accommodations craftily escape the politics of the what’s what of what’s the best first year accommodation in Exeter. Allan: irrelevant but nonetheless present.

Gerwig’s film concludes with the message that everyone is Kenough to be whatever it is they choose.  So, don’t take my word. I came from the infamous Cook and Llewellyn Mews; the third years among you are probably hearing of that accommodation for the first time. So, what would I know?

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