April 10, 2011

"The Scary Reality of a Real-Life Barbie Doll."

I don't know what's scarier funnier, a 6-foot Barbie or this image of a young woman sculpting it:
Taking stacks of newspaper, glue and water, I skipped my high school semi-formal dance to give my girl some skin. Oddly, I started to feel my fondness for Barbie return, now not as a plaything but as a tool to reveal the negative body image that she promotes. As I papier mach├ęd, I couldn't forget Barbie's impressive bust and blew up balloons over and over again to achieve a perfect 39" measurement. Once her chest was secured, I spent hours dipping and smoothing the paper, and later mixed paints to replicate her seemingly perfect white skin tone. With a little hard work and a lot of time, a headless, footless and handless body soon stood in my apartment.
So ...you spent hours smoothing sopping paper over gigantic breasts and felt your "fondness for Barbie return." You didn't even bother to give the thing hands, but you sure got those breasts yooge. Supposedly, this project is intended to further the cause of "eating disorders" awareness, but what it's making me more aware of is the author's atrocious humor deficit.
My Barbie's role is simple. She grabs the attention of apathetic onlookers and makes them think and talk about an issue that thrives in silence. 
Giant breasts?
In the last four years, Barbie has surpassed my expectations, attracting attention and sparking conversation among listeners and readers across the nation.
Have you analyzed those conversations? What percent of the talk sparked is about the problem of radical undereating by young girls who are superachieving in a poorly chosen category?

Anyway, scale matters. The reason the Barbie doll has to have such a small waist relative to the size of the breasts is that Barbie is designed to look good in doll clothes, and when you make doll clothes, you have to use normal fabrics, and you have to make seams and double the fabric over in a way that gets very bulky, especially around the waist. The doll's unreal proportions become much more real if you put the clothes on.

71 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

I guarantee there's one thing she didn't add to the sculpture.

Peter

America's Politico said...

I wonder why there is no Madame President Barbie Doll. Should not this be available? I also think the GOP has made a terrible mistake in pushing Obama/Biden in budget fight. The press will not forgive. All the drama (Trump, Palin, etc.) will add to this and therefore the GOP is going to lose 2012 White House campaign. Is there any reason why the GOP can not have a quiet day? Why must the GOP always make noise? This is a recipe for disaster.

Gabriel Hanna said...

That's not a scaled-up Barbie anyway; Barbie has a disproportionately large head, and this one has a disproportionally small head.

Harry Phartz said...

Wait a minute. She's a high school student with her own apartment? Wuh?

shoutingthomas said...

A college performance art favorite.

The repetitive subject of Rhetoric 101 since I was a freshman in college at the University of Illinois.

Never changes, does it?

And, it's always presented as an incredibly clever, fresh insight.

Instead of the rhetoric teacher pleaser that it is.

Bet she got an A.

Class factotum said...

I wonder why there is no Madame President Barbie Doll.

I want the Angela Merkel Barbie.

Oligonicella said...

"The reason the Barbie doll has to have such a small waist relative to the size of the breasts is that Barbie is designed to look good in doll clothes,..."

Exactly right. My mother made complicate and expensive Barbie clothes for years. Much of her time was spent in simply turning the things right side out without shredding fabric. Hem allowance of 1/8 inch, I think.

Darrell said...

A properly-scaled Barbie would resemble the doll we all are familiar with. That ain't it.
Fail.

DADvocate said...

Sounds like a lot of latent homosexuality in this woman. Has Barbie been promoting lesbianism all these years?

The young woman is wearing boots. Ugh. I feel about women in boots about that same way Ann feels about men in shorts. At work this past winter, a lot of the younger women wore tall, black, pointy toed witch boots. How do they think that looks good?

It's amazing how easily the female psyche is damaged. Apparently the entire world needs to be structured to protect these fragile psyches. Poor babies.

Aridog said...

What a crock. I raised a daughter and bought my share of "Barbies". I also have seen those played with by current friends' kids. NONE have, or ever had, the relative body proportions of this ridiculous piece of propaganda art. None would scale up to a 39" double whatever bust.

What do "yooge" tits have to do with anorexia?

DADvocate said...

The repetitive subject of Rhetoric 101 since I was a freshman in college at the University of Illinois.

Never changes, does it?


Reminds me of this comment by Steve Wozniak at the SNW show recently. "In school, intelligence is a measurement, if you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent." He meant that as a criticism, i.e. no innovative thinking allowed in school.

ricpic said...

Everyone's an artist!
It's all the rage.
And they all want to "make you think."
I'm thinkin'...persiflage.

But then that would take wit;
Clearly missing in this twit.

virgil xenophon said...

What we have here is a less talented aspiring Judy Chicago wanna-be..you know, get that whole feminista artistic iconoclast thing going..

shoutingthomas said...

The "artist" is wearing a leopard skin top and fuck me leather boots.

Boy, she's playing both side of the game, isn't she?

Rhetoric teacher loves her. She's getting laid.

Can't beat that.

Titus said...

I want to touch Real Life Barbie's giant breasts.

edutcher said...

She's projecting all over the place, methinks. Barbie was never that huge.

Nor was the German doll on which she was based (did a marketing project on this once).

Class factotum said...

I wonder why there is no Madame President Barbie Doll.

I want the Angela Merkel Barbie.


You have her.

Titus said...

I scribbled black ink on my barbies coochy...you know, to represent pubes.

When I was home I found the barbie and the ink pubes are still on her. I found her naked with no clothes on.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Class factotum said...

You have her

Or this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/06/angela-merkel-barbie-doll

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I wonder why there is no Madame President Barbie Doll.

Don't worry. In a couple of years it will be available as an accessory set for the Caribou Barbie™

Titus said...

tits

knox said...

The campaign against Barbie is like the effort to get rid of salt, soda, or smoking. If it gives someone pleasure and enjoyment, there's something wrong with it, and it must be eradicated.

ironrailsironweights said...

I scribbled black ink on my barbies coochy...you know, to represent pubes.

That was very thoughtful of you.

Peter

ddh said...

Sculpting a six-foot Barbie to show unrealistic proportions in the doll is a sophomoric feminist version of that perennial elementary school science project--the erupting volcano. And it's just as fresh.

galdosiana said...

I'm sorry, but I've never bought the argument that Barbie dolls cause young girls to become insecure and sometimes anorexic. Think about all the popular toys out there. Bratz dolls were, for a while, as popular as Barbie (or perhaps more so for a bit) and yet you didn't get tons of little girls worrying that their own heads were far too small.

Lucius said...

This tanazon is stuffing her skinny jeans inside her boots and she's protesting against eating disorders?

"Eating disorders are BAD, y'all! Just like, whatever you do, don't ever be FAT or something!! Just like, make sure you look real hot but like, just don't *starve* yourself to do it. I mean don't puke up all the time or do too much coke, 'kay? Just like, everything in moderation. Two hours of Pilates and three cans of Ensure each day, keep it sane like that."

Lucius said...

"Oh, and hit the tanning beds cause if you're not tanning you need to *get real*."

bagoh20 said...

How come nobody frets over the unrealistic physical standard expressed through G.I. Joe, or the endless line of similar boy's figures. Females must be very fragile, yet somehow equal. I'm a little confused by that.

MrBuddwing said...

You want scary/funny? There was a store at a shopping mall in the D.C. area that did a "Meet Barbie" promo a couple of years back. That's right, girls had the opportunity to meet a "real-life" Barbie, who was a very pretty young blonde, quite tall, whose height apparently was meant to convey Barbie's physique without the model being anorectically thin.

"Barbie" signed autographs and chatted with the little girls lined up to see her.

What's worse than a real woman pretending to be Barbie? How about a middle-aged doofus observing a real woman pretending to be Barbie?

WV: cownesto

Ut said...

Nice fucking tits.

Can I get this on Amazon yet?

Mary Beth said...

I too thought the head was weirdly small. It looks as though it came from a My Size Barbie. (Included the Althouse Amazon.com code.)

Conserve Liberty said...

Failing to model the feet, the artist missed the point entirely - the misogyny of Barbie's permanently elevated heels.

/sarc

William said...

It occasionally happens in nature that a woman has a slender waist and a terrific rack. I think, however, that such a combination is relatively rare. You used to have to open quite a lot of oysters before finding such a pearl. Now, with the advent of silicone implants, such an arrangement is rather frequent--especially in upper middle class neighborhoods where parents can afford this fashion accessory....In the way that cultured pearls reduced the value of pearls, silicone tits have somewhat diminished the value of large, organic tits. This woman is mocking the Barbie look precisely because it is so accessible and affordable.

sydney said...

Agree, the big Barbie's breasts are too big and the head too small. I spent many happy hours in my girlhood playing with Barbie dolls. I am definitely not anorexic, or hypersexual; nor am I submissive. Heck, I'm not even a clothes horse. People read too much into child's play.

Skyler said...

Just another fake issue for fake activists to drum up discontent among the easily manipulated.

Skyler said...

Sixty Grit noticed, " She should fail because she is completely without skill."

Since when has this been a criteria in art class?

Andrea said...

Funny, when I was in my childhood back yard making my Barbies have adventures (in my mind she was kind of an adventuring explorer/superspy) it never occurred to me that instead I should be worrying that I wouldn't grow up to look just like a plastic doll.

YoungHegelian said...

Reality bumps into the Onion yet again:

http://www.theonion.com/video/bratz-dolls-may-give-young-girls-unrealistic-expec,14303/

Ut said...

"I too thought the head was weirdly small."

She had a head?

All I noticed is her tits and ass seemed kind of smallish compared with today's "ideal" woman ... Kim Kardashian.

DADvocate said...

Bratz dolls were, for a while, as popular as Barbie (or perhaps more so for a bit) and yet you didn't get tons of little girls worrying that their own heads were far too small.

My daughter was a huge Bratz doll fan. I don't think it ever did her any harm. But, she always wanted the big eyes.

rhhardin said...

Never eat anything bigger than your head.

Charlie Martin said...

Next, we worry about the disproportionately wide eyes in anime and whether the Venus de Milo makes for an amputee fetish.

Conserve Liberty said...

Agree, the big Barbie's breasts are too big

Looks to me as if this artist has the X-chromosome version of penis envy.

Jamson64 said...

Does anyone know what my 70s era doll I mean Aquaman action figure looks like full size?

Jamson64 said...

Or my Chewbacca figure? How about the Deathstar done with Legos?

Maguro said...

Hey, Barbie's tits are lopsided, WTF is up with that?

Joan said...

The doll's unreal proportions become much more real if you put the clothes on.

Thank you, I've been wondering why no one ever points this out to all the hyperventilating feminists.

I reject the idea that females are so weak that we can't allow our girls to play with a doll that doesn't perfectly represent a "healthy body image." My 12yo daughter wears a size 00, called out as somehow sick in the linked article. My daughter doesn't have an eating disorder, she's just very slender, as are many adolescent girls. People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

ironrailsironweights said...

In the way that cultured pearls reduced the value of pearls, silicone tits have somewhat diminished the value of large, organic tits.

Never heard the word "organic" used in that context before, but it's quite appropriate. I agree, organic is much better than enhanced, though of course my main standard of feminine beauty involves something else.

Peter

Coketown said...

Stop criticizing the lack of hands. It's clearly the Barbie Scissorhands doll.

But yes, I remember in the early days of e-mail my mom got a chain letter from my feminist aunt, and one of the 'factoids' was that if you scaled Barbie up she would have freakishly non-human dimensions. This idea is nothing new. Barbie beats even Sarah Palin at invoking the ire of first wave feminists.

And I'm pretty sure there isn't an entire generation of women who were permanently scarred and psychologically damaged because they couldn't live up to the unrealistic expectations of their dolls. Mattel should get a sense of humor and release Tiger Barbie, complete with her own battle hymn. You have to play with her for three hours a day, and if you don't she makes you feel like a louse.

Synova said...

The thing about Barbie clothes fitting and looking good at that scale is right on. Scale makes a difference on how we see things. The smaller something is the more extreme the proportions need to be.

I paint fantasy miniatures, and while they are supposed to have fantastic proportions, like a superhero comic!, the fact is that in order to look right the actual, real, proportions, are utterly ridiculous. They are exaggerated that much more simply because the entire figure is only three inches tall.

traditionalguy said...

Now there is the type of SCOTUS nominee that President Trump will nominate. Even Scalia would be enamored of her every move in her black robes.

Chip Ahoy said...

The real scaled Barbie.

Synova said...

Nice, Chip. :-)

PaulV said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2o3206Ko2I&feature=related

The showmen 39-21-40 shape

Jeanine said...

I forgot who did this, but there was a morphological study on Barbie and it was determined that if she was scaled to that of a human being, she could not sustain her own balance or weight based on the length of her femur and the narrowness of her hips. In effect, Barbie is not to human scale, size, or type.

Peter said...

Ann, that comment about scale was brilliant! Was this something that you puzzled out yourself, or is it a standard explanation for how miniatures and dolls work?

Regardless, it was a mind-bender, suddenly realizing that Barbie was being dressed in fabrics that -- relative to her size -- were closer to burlap and brocade than satin and silk.

(Yeah, I know I'm, using those last terms wrong. But they sounded good, so I ignored the details -- which is probably how this student got her project approved.)

campy said...

In my past life as stay-at-home parent to two girls I saw plenty of Barbies—dressed and undressed, and quite often headless.

That young woman's "project" does NOT have the proportions of any Barbie I ever saw.

Oligonicella said...

Peter --

"Regardless, it was a mind-bender,..."

Think of it this way. The clothes you'd wear would be sewn with thread about half your little fingernail in width.

Iapetus said...

Forget the Barbie shtick, I think the doll bears a remarkable likeness to Pamela Anderson: big boobs, tiny brain---all in all, a perfect copy.

Dark Eden said...

http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/5683/barbie1.jpg

I bothered to do a comparison of an actual barbie, the 'lifesize' barbie and an actual person. The barbie and the person are fairly close, this weird doll is completely off. Did the designer bother to actually look at a barbie when she did this? Yes I know propaganda is not interested in facts but come on.

blake said...

Aaaand Jeanine misses the point.

You know where else this shows up?

Comic books.

Nobody can look like the superheroes. Chris Reeve was pretty cut up but he looks positively skinny in the Superman movies.

I mean: Really. There are guys who have that level of musculature. But it's not attractive.

Clothes, again, to a degree. Though in this case it's that no real-world fabric can allow that level of detail through. (Which is why Rebecca Romijn came closest to looking like her source, Mystique—she's naked.)

Nobody seems to fret over the damage this (along with WWE, e.g.) could have on boys. (I think, though, the real impact it has on boys is expectations of what girls should look like. No escape!)

Revenant said...

That's not a scaled-up Barbie anyway; Barbie has a disproportionately large head, and this one has a disproportionally small head.

That was my first thought as well.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Ignorance is Bliss: There already is (or was 13 years ago) a Caribou Barbie, more or less. The only Barbie I ever bought my kid was dressed in a fur-edged leather hooded jacket and pants, and was called something like "Arctic Barbie" or "Eskimo Barbie". She was the only Barbie on the shelf that looked like an actual human, and in fact looked pretty much prepared for anything. Too bad there was no rifle or spear accessory included.

WV: menteg - Where Mentos come from

campy said...

Nobody seems to fret over the damage this (along with WWE, e.g.) could have on boys.

Society can't care about two sexes at once, so we chose to care about females.

Better luck next time, guys.

Lucius Septimius said...

Having made doll clothes and having had to put a clothes on my daughter's Barbies (or "Barfie" as she calls her) I agree with Anne's remark.
In any event, beating up on Barbie as the source and cause of all of America's educational problems is so hackneyed that one wonders why anyone takes this seriously any more.

mariner said...

knox,
The campaign against Barbie is like the effort to get rid of salt, soda, or smoking. If it gives someone pleasure and enjoyment, there's something wrong with it, and it must be eradicated.

Those damned right-wing lunatics, trying to impose their morality on us!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Based on a visual exam, Barbie is in serious need of a mammogram. Good thing those conservatives didn't manage to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

EDH said...

The doll's unreal proportions become much more real if you put the clothes on.

Sorry, but I was a younger brother, and the point of a younger brother's existence is to run around taunting your sister with her naked Barbie dolls.

Bob Ellison said...

If GI Joe were real, he'd be three feet tall, have 36-inch biceps and a 56-inch chest, and sport a beard of crinkly weird stuff that never got longer than Don Johnson times two!

Oh, and he wouldn't have genitalia either.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@campy

"In my past life as stay-at-home parent to two girls I saw plenty of Barbies—dressed and undressed, and quite often headless."

Thread winner.

Headless Barbie, perfect metaphor.

The Dread Pirate No-Beard said...

Christ almighty, I make a life-sized paper mache doll of the cheerleader down the street and suddenly I can't go within 500' of a school, and Galia gets a HuffPo story out of it?

I see she made her for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Good for her. Nothing instills a healthy body image in pre-teen and adolescent girls like a freakishly small head, 5' long legs of uniform thickness, no hips, no hands, arms of dissimilar length, and uneven J-cup breasts.

Mission Accomplished, Galia! Your MacArthur Foundation check is undoubtedly in the mail.