I’ve added three more pictures to my portfolio. You’ve probably seen one of these already in another picture. If you look closely on the “Commodification” series, you can see two billboards (in the tunnel) with two photographs of Barbie dolls. You can consider them as pictures in pictures.
I thought it was nice to give those photographs a platform of their own. So you can see them more up and close.
To me Barbie en Ken symbolise the beauty ideal in western society. They represent the image of how a perfect woman or man should look and how they should feel, in a state of eternal happiness. And we are taught this lesson at a very young age.
There are actually people who want to look like Barbie. In Holland we even have a reality tv show, about a dutch woman, who calls herself Barbie and looks like…..well a Barbie. She is famous because she wants to be a real life copy of a doll!
Well this is an exception you say? Most people are ‘normal’ right? Well even if this is the case and this ideal is not realistic, somehow in our subconscious we believe that we should strive to achieve this ideal. We are surrounded by magazines, billboards, tv commercials, screaming at us what this ideal should be. There is no escaping. The women on the cover of glossy’s have all been photoshopped and manipulated to show something that isn’t there in real life. Sometimes they almost take away that what makes a person human. They resemble almost something of a doll. We all know that. Rationally we know this. But it leaves us with some sort of strange paradox.
We have some deep internalized notions about beauty, about perfection but when you look into a mirror, you see that you cannot live up to that expectation. But some people do feel some sort of let down, when they look into that mirror. To me that is crazy!
So this is where my idea came from, about making Barbie a less unrealistic creature. To use photoshop to make the super model of all super models a little less perfect instead of achieving perfection. To do the opposite of what people use photoshop for. I made her a bit more flawed, gave her some ‘real emotions’. That way the ideal, becomes perhaps less ideal.