Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My favourite Barbie photo in the history of ever

Copyright Julie Lauren. via julielaurin.com

No, it's not one of Mariel Clayton's psychotic Barbie shots. Or even this old Body Shop ad. It's a photo just published by a Facebook friend, Ottawa photographer Julie Lauren.

Julie's pictures tend to explore the awkwardness of human bodies, held in contorted poses or expressions by other people, duct tape, or plastic sheeting. Her new series on dolls, however, is particularly interesting. Laurie has been gleaming thrift shops for old Barbies and related dolls and accessories, then creating interesting compositions with them.

Of all of them this one struck me as particularly meaningful. It says so much about the spectre of body image that looms over young girls as they consume magazines, fashion ads, and of course gendered Barbie play.

The setup of this shot was dead simple, all done in camera with backlight, paper and toys. For those interested, Julie explains the "making of" on her blog

But I'm more interested in the final effect: the pudgy little girl casually glancing over her shoulder, but not yet fully aware of the impossible perfection forming in her subconsciousness, with special emphasis on her sexual parts. 

I could go on and on, but this picture is worth more than a thousand words. Well-done, Julie.

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