Kristyna Milde 1959
2009 marks the 50th anniversary since Ruth Handler designed the Barbie doll. I was thinking: How strange, that the doll did not age since then? She still looks as fresh as in the late 50s; a symbol of never aging beauty. So I decided to confront the idealized image of the Barbie Doll, the symbol of successful consumerism, with the everyday reality. I asked myself how would a person, who would live the life of the character of ”the perfect consumer” looks like in its fifties. I focused on the gap between the dream, the prefab ideal of consumerism, and the real process of ageing and deterioration. There is a photograph in the 1959 series, where Barbie is celebrating her birthday with a huge cake in her apartment. In my project, she does not look like Cinderella, but rather as a middle-aged woman she is supposed to be. Her body is affected and transformed by the reality of her life. She is obsessively shopping and over consuming the products of the never-ending sales and media spectacle. While obeying the rules to became the perfect consumer, she turns in to an absurd character fulfilling the imperative to enjoy!

“Diet, injections and injunctions will combine from a very early age to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable and a serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.”

Bertrand Russell, “The Impact of Science on Society” 1952

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