It seems to be only when we grow up and become adults that we realize the fantasy, the mythology, of the perfect world of Barbie just simply doesn’t exist. Her carefree life, complete with hunky companion Ken (who seems to have left for a younger model), driving around in a pink convertible, luxury motorhome and living in a Dreamhouse, is all a crock of shit.
Even worse for young girls, is the hegemony of the white, blonde, thin, big breasted, tiny waisted stereotype that they are taught they must somehow live up to.
Kudos to American artist Carrie M. Becker who shows us a very different and realistic side of Barbie – a place where her Dreamhouse has been destroyed, filled with a lifetime of hoarded possessions, including a filthy kitchen, and needing some serious TLC.
Rendered in perfect one-sixth scale handmade models, Becker has created an alternate universe Barbie world and carefully photographed this counter-ideology, offering young women a different view of the insidious cultural figure. A more real world Barbie is presented, perhaps taking some pressure off girls to live up to perfect ideals.
“I frequently watched shows like "Hoarders" and "How Clean Is Your House?" With that in mind, this past summer I began creating the images that are presented here, though I reflect their inspiration as a mirror and not a judgment,” her website explains. “For me, this series is about creating a small, but perfect world where the viewer cannot distinguish between what is reality and what is fiction.”