PLASTIC PURGERY – BARBIE IN BONDAGE BREAKS THE INTERNET

PLASTIC PURGERY – BARBIE IN BONDAGE BREAKS THE INTERNET

Photographer Mariel Clayton Reinvents the Stereotype of the Female Form

by Fiona Ma

With over 150 careers under her belt, who is this aspirational yet fickle bombshell we call Barbie? Pumped full of plastic, an acrobat, a registered doctor and a UNICEF ambassador, Barbie has become an iconic household name for little girls with big dreams. By night Barbie’s shiny façade becomes dirtier; an exposé of real life fetishism and psychosomatic human nature crafted by photographer Mariel Clayton who introduces us to Bad Barbie.

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Left: Phuqing for Virginity. Right: GamePlay. © Mariel Clayton, courtesy of the photographer.

Barbie’s upbringing has been a bumpy ride. She is commonly criticized for her disproportionate proportions over the concerns regarding Barbie’s “lollipop head” look - think waifish waist, pornstar boobs and legs for days. In her defence, Barbie was claimed to be “designed for girls to easily dress and undress” says Kim Culmone, vice president for Barbie designs. Condemned as the cause for body image issues and eating disorders, Barbie’s popularity took a steep dive with the growing stigma attached to her name.
 mariel_clayton_barbie_ken_double_exposure_adam_and_steve_kids_of_dada_kod_photograph

Double Exposure. © Mariel Clayton, courtesy of the photographer.

Still renowned as a social influencer, Barbie has been revived and now used as an ironic social tool to remark on society’s ‘plastic ways’. At the forefront of exposing social and gender issues and spurred on by Mariel Clayton’s photo documentary of Barbie in bondage, beheading beloved Ken, and committing suicide, Barbie has broken the Internet.

mariel_clayton_barbie_the_dolls_lie_back_and_think_of_libya_kidsofdada_kod

 Left: The Crappy Couple. Right: Lie back and Think of Libya. © Mariel Clayton, courtesy of the photographer.

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F is for Facinorous. © Mariel Clayton, courtesy of the photographer.

With a following of 1.3 million, the revered ‘SocalityBarbie’ account has been widely acclaimed for its satirical view on the social media phenomenon. Now taken under the wing of designer Jeremy Scott, Moschino cheekily reclaims that “Plastic is Fantastic”. With a firm grip over Barbie’s social connotations, we can look at her for what she was originally intended for, a dress-up doll.

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Left: Moschino Barbie Doll and Capsule Collection Right: Miley Cyrus in Moschino S/S 15 with Barbie.

Despite the mass criticism directed towards her over the past decade, Barbie’s smiling exterior has resurfaced in a barrage of plastic limbs and waterfall hair. Add Instagram blogger, serial killer and Moschino model to her running list of accomplishments, the obsession for America’s sweetheart continues.

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