Barbie: the most famous artifact of the female norm, framing the identity or role of women in the Western world. With the slogan of her creation ‘You Can Be Anything’, Barbie was made to set a standard for women in the 80's to look beyond their stay-at-home-mom-position and aim for their (career) dreams. But in the mean time, she also set a standard of being absolutely Perfect.
Since January 2016 Barbie has gone through a process of ‘evolution’, since Mattel introcued the new Fashionistas Collection, adding several body types, skin-colors and ethnicities to her look. What does that tell us about the current state of womenhood in our society? Are we now liberated from having only one ethnical beauty standard? Will the new Barbie help young girls to become their true self? Or are we tricked by a clever marketing stunt that fools us into thinking we can be different?
This is a project reflecting the struggle of female perfection, with the main question: Are we ready for DIVERSITY? Translating the research from my paper ('Re-defining The Perfect Woman after The Barbie Evolution' - click on the PDF beneath) into an artistic form, I made a photoshoot of 20 different women (and a Ken) trying to fit into the same bright pink, S-sized Barbie outfit.
Have a look at the results!
Exhibited at Ladyfest Festival Maastricht - May 6&7 2017, Mandril
Laura van Stee
Anna Reesha Sidhu