Wearing Barbie’s body on your body

15 03 2009

This is interesting… Margaux Lange is a jewelry maker who is obsessed and fascinated with Barbie. She makes jewelry using Barbie parts. She says, “I enjoy the funny juxtaposition of wearing the body, on the body. Barbie has become the accessory instead of being accessorized.” What stands out the most for me about this is how a commodity (Barbie) becomes commodified. She is dismembered and no longer stands as an intact doll but rather disposable parts that can be removed and re-moved (as in moved elsewhere). I don’t know, is this feminist art?

Here are some of her pieces:

A necklace made of Barbie breasts.

A necklace made of Barbie breasts.

Barbie earrings

Barbie earrings

Barbie butts made into a bracelet

Barbie butts made into a bracelet

From the top left corner and going counter clockwise: Barbie bracelet, ring, earrings, rings, and necklace

From the top left corner and going counter clockwise: Barbie bracelet, ring, earrings, rings, and necklace


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6 responses

15 03 2009
feminist3

Creepy, but thought-provoking.

17 03 2009
Stephanie

I’d comment on the implications of this jewelry, but I can’t get over how CREEPY it is.

17 03 2009
feminist2

Yes, my initial reaction upon seeing this was woah…this is really creepy… Dismembered body parts in general creep me out. The bracelet with the hands and the necklace with the arms especially creeped me out. I also think that having dismembered body parts like this plays in to the fetishization of certain body parts. It’s all just a bit too unsettling.

19 04 2009
Jason

…Really freaky-wierd. I mean, just. Whoa.
I mean, seriously, who’d want to wear a bracelet with loads of plastic hands reaching in every direction? Really?!
I don’t tend to judge people on what they’re wearing, but in this case, seeing these would make me want to run a mile.

As for the femanist side of things… Well… It’s Barbie. I mean, Barbie was this woman who’d do all sorts of things, including being a vet. Although I’m not sure we ever saw her encroach on the stereotypically “masculine” jobs such as police officer, army officer, etc, she WAS doing jobs that require intelligence. So, not as bad as, say- Bratz.

On the other hand, she holds impossible standards of supposed beauty. I mean, if Barbie was real, she’d have to walk on all fours. She has a physically impossible figure, and girls are playing with her and wanting to be like her.
Mm. Yay.

So the random body parts aside, I think Barbie = pretty anti-femanist if you’re not looking at the career-Barbie. And here, we’re JUST looking at Barbie, not anything she does, just her body.
And given the impossible standards Barbie imposes, and the lack of variety in anything but colour, I’d go with not-femanist.

As for treating the body parts like they’re “disposable”- they ARE from dolls, I don’t think it reflects onto real body parts. >.> Plus, there are (admittedly less) male parts too.

28 08 2009
Stormy

An interesting note to the poster above, Jason, Barbie actually *did* go through a time of girl empowerment in the 90’s wherein she worked as a police officer, soldier, so on and so forth. After that she went back to the home, “where she belonged”.

I think the idea of making her body into the sum of its parts is kind of negative. It sends the message that because people see Barbie as fake and a bad example of a woman, it’s okay to mistreat her. I agree with the school of thought that girls should be raised not to idolize Barbie, but I think they need to know that ALL women deserve respect.

The necklace does look cute, though. I suppose if you spun it right you *could* make it a feminist statement. “I’m no doll.”

6 11 2009
Chloé

I just love it !
I wish I had time right now to tell how great those jewellery are, but I just wish I knew where to buy them !

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