Barbie dolls aren’t popular because of their subtle beauty. Barbie’s sickeningly proportioned body and cartoonish make-up and clothes, her signature pink convertible car and lavish “dream house,” make many question if the surreal likeness of womanhood puts unfair pressure on young girls to grow up impossibly pretty.
A few forward-thinking artists have decided to unmask the hyperbolic heroine and remind us of Barbie’s capacity to be human.
According to the Huffington Post, inspired by the viral image of Barbie without make-up (reportedly created by Eddi Aguirre), artist and University of Pittsburgh grad Nickolay Lamm has made an impact dissecting iconic girlhood images.
“The artist began with a curiosity to see what the famous face of Barbie looked like without her signature makeup because he, like many critics, recognized how unrealistic her beauty was.”
“It completely exaggerates, removing eyelids among other things,” he complained.
Lamm’s scrubbed-up series, which currently includes a handful of Barbies, Disney’s Cinderella, and a Bratz doll, strips the gals of their cookie-cutter glittering eyeshadow, dramatic mascara and liner, long false lashes, and perpetual pink pout. Aguirre‘s original viral pic even went so far as to add braces, a mole, and a bit of natural frizz where Barbie’s locks are ordinarily super sleek. [View the slideshow here.]
Lamm is said to have worked with fellow illustrator Nikolett Mérész using Photoshop to create his series of digitally un-enhanced dolls. Next he hopes to tackle the ugly issue of distorted body image, creating a more proportionate Barbie using a 3D printer.
“Dolls heavily influence the way that young girls want to look,” he explained. “And so, in my opinion, less is more.”
“I hope that my work inspires toy companies to give dolls are more natural look,” he added. “If the dolls look good without makeup, what’s the point of putting makeup on them in the first place?” If only we all felt that way a little more often. — Casandra Armour