For the artist Annette Thas, Barbie is a disturbingly bittersweet symbol of childhood nostalgia and longing; for installation piece “Wave I,” she uses between 3,000 and 5,000 barbie dolls to build a sculptural wave, re-appropriating the doll as a means of translating her earliest memories, scenes which now flood her after returning to Belgium to care for her ill sister.
For the artist, the wave is meant to convey her own ... Read More
BY kelsey haight in Artsy on Mar 11, 2014 |
In celebration of Barbie’s 55th birthday, we've collected a round up of subversive art inspired by her hollow head and plastic husk of a body. It's only fair that this art be viewed on her 55th birthday, because if there's one thing that Barbie has taught us, it's that you can do anything -- as long as you look flawless, ageless, and excessively cheery while doing it! It’s fitting that we see some disturbing images of Barbie today, as her youthful glow ... Read More
Remember when artist Nickolay Lamm created a representation of a realistically-proportioned Barbie doll based off of the body of an average 19-year-old? The internet applauded his efforts, and through his stark visual comparison between Barbie and the average girl, the public began to seriously question the effects of the impossibly thin, tall, and full-chested doll on the relationship between young girls and body image.
Possibly in ... Read More
Barbie has made headlines that lately; as we continue to push toy companies towards a doll that includes more diverse body types, ethnicities, careers, and lifestyles, some groundbreaking artists have reworked and re-appropriated the toy to challenge expectations and sexist assumptions. My personal favorite of these artists, Margaux Lange, shared a recent Barbie tidbit with her social media network this morning: the doll is going to be featured in the ... Read More
In Barbie Birth, the maternity photographer Katie Moore invites us into a private moment in the life of the iconic doll: the birth of her child. Following the plastic princess from the moment she goes into labor to her first breastfeeding session, the photographs read like an eerily polished family photo album. Ken and Nurse Barbie aid the birthing doll as she goes through her home birthing process; all three never break their ... Read More
A few days ago, the Facebook page Plus Size Modeling asked the social network this question: “Should you companies start making Plus Sized Barbie dolls?” For those in favor, the page offers the “like” button; those against the toy are encouraged to comment. Accompanying the question is a Photoshopped illustration of a potential plus-sized Barbie (one that does not exist), wearing the familiar pink halter dress and sporting ... Read More
Barbie’s place in adolescence and constructed femininity has baffled psychologists and feminist alike: on one hand, she’s a patient confidante onto which girls might project their hopes and aspirations. But she also espouses limited and damaging views on female roles, bodies, and sexuality. She sends conflicting messages, passively listening to you for hours while remaining inhumanly cold. As girls, we intuitively pick up that Barbie is ... Read More
As children, many of us turn to our toys to navigate our developing identities. Sometimes, our dolls serve as surrogates; we parent them the way we see our children parenting us, and we identify with them. Photography operates similarly: as teens, we might dog-ear or collect magazine images that appeal to our expanding sense of self. Since so many dolls and photographs in mainstream fashion magazines present a grossly limited definition of femininity, it ... Read More
From Scary Movie onwards, Anna Faris has brilliantly subverted female lead movie tropes. In the 2011 The New Yorker piece “Funny Like A Guy,” she express her desire to verge from the Type A, likable and romantic roles offered to so many Hollywood starlets. She craves grit and authenticity: “I’d like to explore Type D, the sloppy ones,” she said.
So it makes sense that Faris’s relationship with Barbie, an ... Read More
BY Katharine Ernst in General on Jul 25, 2013 |
I must say that after I watched the short documentary “Space Barbie,” I felt very conflicted. I'd heard of Valeria Lukyanova before - a Russian woman living in Odessa, Valeria has used plastic surgery and extreme body modification to become what she calls a “refined girl," and what the rest of the world calls a Barbie doll.
Disturbing, no? I don’t think her impossibly unnatural appearance sends a good message to ... Read More