August 2015
Visual Culture & Gender;2015, Vol. 10, p71
Academic Journal
The Barbie doll, a symbolic antithesis of feminism, is my sculptural medium for interrogating relationships between childhood play/role modeling and inequities in workplace structures. In this arts-based inquiry, I identify socially perpetuated trajectories of inculcated gender archetypes. Using the Barbie doll as a form for visual conceptualization, I reposition the iconic cast of U.S. material culture through semiotic inquiry, elucidating concerns from body image to self-imposed silence, to women's complicity in maintaining sexist proclivities of the status quo. Through arts-based inquiry, the imbalances of workplace relationships and human agency are traced from child's play through my journey to find voice and community. Ultimately, Barbie is repurposed as merely a sum of parts connected by string. As an art educator, I ask whom the next generation will allow to act as manipulator, challenging women to model different attributes toward which girls can aspire.


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