Picture the typical heavy metal listener. What do you see? Perhaps you’re envisioning a denim jacket patched up within an inch of its life, or a lone figure brooding wistfully on a camping chair awaiting X band at Y festival. You don’t exactly imagine someone wearing a cute pink cowboy hat and matching sparkly boots, do you?
While a vision in pink might not seem like the stereotypical audience for heavy music, that doesn’t mean that the girlies don’t love a hard-hitting riff. Might we draw your attention to the Queen Of Pink: the one and only Barbie. The pointy-toed sensation is currently being portrayed on-screen by none other than Margot Robbie – and she’s a lover of all things loud, sweaty and blisteringly heavy. It’s official guys: this Barbie is a metalhead.
In all her plastic fantastic glory, the Barbie, Suicide Squad and Wolf Of Wall Street actor is a self-proclaimed heavy metal diehard. Margot has repeatedly discussed her experience seeing Slipknot back during her time on Neighbours, recalling how it stands out as the time she has been recognised by the most fans in one evening. Who decided that the figurehead of femininity can’t also be someone you’d bump into at a Slipknot concert, eh?
Margot recounted the tale in January 2023 on The Graham Norton Show. She also labelled herself as “very goth, very emo” and described her teenage years of having dyed black hair that she exclusively “cut with a razor blade”. It’s an image that you can totally envision when you also discover that her first-ever album was AFI’s Sing The Sorrow, as she revealed in 2019.
The importance of Margot’s metal fandom is exemplified in that Graham Norton interview. When a rather bemused (and condescending) Cate Blanchett asks, “Does anyone really like heavy metal music?”, Margot instantly responds with, “I still genuinely like it.”
Further prodding queries are thrown around about liking “monster trucks”, emphasising the issue at hand: the mainstream consensus of heavy metal is incredibly misunderstood. The genre has long been ridiculed by pearl-clutchers who get heart palpitations if a track on the radio sounds heavier than Olly Murs. If you say you enjoy heavy music and don’t look like your garden-variety metalhead, it has to be a punchline – how could a “normal” person ever indulge in the horrors of this nasty, loud, Satan-worshipping music?
If you’re in the same doubtful camp as Cate Blanchett as to whether Margot “really likes heavy metal”, don’t be. BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw has already hooked the Barbie star up to a heart monitor and proven that her adoration for heaviness is true and pure. Absolutely hungover on jägerbombs, her pulse was pushed to its limit when Grimshaw surprised her with a clip of Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck dedicating Tears Don’t Fall to her back in 2018. And, while that alone was enough to have her heart rattling in her ribcage, Grimshaw even showed her a personalised message from Corey Taylor in the same interview. A pretty blissful way to ride out a hangover, if you ask us.
With Barbie annihilating the box office at time of publication, officially raking in more than $1 billion in global ticket sales (as well as surpassing Wonder Woman as the biggest-ever movie directed by one woman), Margot is undeniably the face of Hollywood right now. She’s the biggest name in the biz – and that means any praise she directs towards heavy tunes is going to be heard loud and clear.
We can only hope that, in the near future, Margot pulls off a repeat of her 2016 appearance on The Tonight Show, openly geeking out over Metallica also being guests on the show, and asserting, “Even if you don’t like metal, you’d like a Slipknot concert.” She has always comfortably and confidently waved the heavy metal flag – so come on, Margot, the heavy scene has waited long enough! We deserve a glittering, sequin-adorned Barbie howling along to The Heretic Anthem on primetime television. It’s your duty.
Until then, we can only hope that the Margot Robbie effect lures in some curious music fans to the world of heavy metal, as well as shifting public perception of what a ‘metalhead’ is supposedly allowed to be. Metalheads can sparkle too, goddamn it!