Post by CM
Who knew that impossibly proportioned doll Barbie would be having such a fashion moment in this day and age? When TM and I were tiny mice we loved our Barbie dolls; imagining lives for them, romancing our brother’s GI Joe with them and of course dressing them up. We had the pink Barbie van and about five dolls each (our aunts and uncles knew what was on our birthday lists for a year or two!). When the time came they got makeovers – a shorn haired punk look for one was rather memorable – and as our time with them drew to a close we took a slightly sadistic glee in dressing them in the most horrible combinations possible, cackling with naughtiness as we did so.
Well now Barbie’s time has come again! Her Instagram account has a huge following and legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath has joined forces with her to create bold new fashion looks for fashion month. The looks are reminiscent of Givenchy’s jewels (more of which can be seen here) and Pat’s signature boundary pushing creations, and check out Barbie No.3’s head shave! A far better job than I ever could have done in my Barbie styling days.
Now, I don’t think Barbie ever did me or my friends any harm, particularly those who delighted in dressing her up. As far as body consciousness was concerned, I certainly favoured her to her fuller-figured, flat footed arch-nemesis Sindy, but I don’t recall ever seeing her as anything other than a doll, with the unattainable, unrealistic figure of a plastic mould. Of course with the rise in childhood eating disorders and the triggers that could possibly cause them, it’s wise for parents to be wary, and using her in a high-fashion setting could be problematic to an audience already taunted by waif thin models with perfect skin. So maybe that’s where Hipster Barbie comes in, a hilarious parody account that makes fun of both Barbie’s well-known sweet-but-dumbness and pretty hipster girls’ irritatingly nonsensical life-affirming phrases.
It’s funny, it’s mocking, it’s (dare I say it?) stylish. SocialityBarbie, to give her her proper Instagram handle (check out the rest of the account here) is silly and irreverent. It’s the new chopping off her hair and putting her in mis-matched clothes, it’s the next making her do unthinkable things to unprepared Action Men. She’s #blessed, she’s #real, the creator of the account is a wedding photographer from (home of the hipster) Oregon who was fed up with her feed being filled with vacuous bloggers (ahem) who’d do anything to perfect their most #authentic shot. Wasp-waist, perfect hair, high-heeled hiking boots, our silicone chum will always do it better. And why wouldn’t she? She’s as real as any photoshopped model, she’s as real as Christina Hendrick’s red hair, she’s as real as anyone else’s perfect Instagram life; and that in itself isn’t real at all.