If Barbie was a real, living, breathing person she would not seem as perfect as she does in doll form. Her proportions blown up in to an actual female are probable in only 1 out of every 100,000 women in the world. Barbie would not have enough body fat to menstruate. Now that doesn’t seem very healthy! If a woman with a 28 inch waist was then changed to have Barbie proportions, she would have to 7’6 feet tall! This is only 2 inches shorter than the world’s tallest woman! But if we do it in reverse, instead using Barbie proportions on a woman is 5’6 so about average female height, her waist would have to shrink to 20 inches. Her bust line would be 27 inches and her hips would be 29 inches. So obviously Barbie’s proportions are unrealistic and many would argue that most toys are going to be unrealistic but the problem is that Barbie’s figure could be damaging to a woman’s health. I cringe just thinking about the back pain that would come with having to support those boobs with that tiny frame. Further research went to show that the proportions of Ken represents around 50 out of 100 men. There’s no denying that beauty standards are focused on girls more than boys. And yes, obviously not every little girl is going to develop massive physical and mental health problems as a result of playing with Barbie and trying to achieve her looks but some girls will. Just take a look at the girls around the globe who have undergone millions of dollars worth of surgery to try and look just like her. It’s sick. I think the Barbie brand has made some changes to try and deal with these issues, for example breast and shoe size but there is still not very much diversity in body shape and even the updated version of Barbie is still not representative of most girls.
(photos by me)
One of the biggest complaints with Barbie is that she is too thin and it sets unrealistic expectations for young girls that are literally impossible to reach. Anorexia and Bulimia are a massive problem with young girls. Not everyone agrees but there is evidence that society and its beauty standards that are EVERYWHERE on television, magazines, and advertisements are affecting the rise in these conditions. I set up and took this photo because it shows Barbie making herself puke so she can meet these goals of being thin and therefore pretty. I like the contrast of her being face first in the toilet but also smiling as if to say, “It’s worth it!” to all the little girls out there.
(photos by me)
The first thought that came to my mind with Project 54 was to show Barbie without tattoos and then with them. Even in 2012, tattoos get mixed reviews. My idea was to show “perfect” and “flawless” Barbie with tattoos. She’s still the same but for some that would remove all of her appeal and she would no longer be the ideal. Also, I wanted to show Barbie with some individuality. Just by adding the temporary tattoos (which worked surprisingly well on her plastic skin) she looks different than all the other barbies on the shelf.