Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Beating Heart.

I can't decide whether to do the illustrated animation in colour or plain?
Baring in mind that the Barbie's chest is painted red, although the image of the heart is not transparent so it will be white heart and lungs on a red chest...

Snog. Marry. Avoid.

This is a clip from a programme called Snog. Marry. Avoid. In which girls get made under. The girl in this series was obsessed with the Barbie Look, it's an example of how influential this doll is and how it can be dangerous. Although she is not making herself ill for this look, it's hard to watch her be so fake and therefore sacrifice her natural beauty for his look. She re-touches her makeup before she goes to sleep and this shows signs that she is not confident without looking this way. This shows how mentally, she is pressured by this need to feel glamerous all the time, which when you look at a Barbie is evident.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Nip/Tuck. Credits.

This is the credits for the program Nip/Tuck, about two guys who run a plastic surgery clinic and their lives.
Thinking about how Barbie influences young girls into a frame of mind where any imperfections need to be erased and got rid of, triggered my idea for the begining of my animation to be based around the idea of imperfections, enhancements and plastic surgery. Through doint all these things to the doll at the begining i hope it triggers my audience to recognise that this is how some young girls go being influenced by Barbies' perfect look.

First Rough Animation.

This is my rough first attempt at how my animation will start. It's only the beginning and it's too fast! Plus the quality's really poor. However this was just to show at my crit, to see if my audience had a vague idea of what was going on?


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Wrapping Paper.

With good time management i may be able to get my wrapping paper done and ser
ies of cards finished celebrating 50 years of Barbie this year. However i want to concentrate more on my animation. Not being able to start it over the easter i did some paper designs.

I tried a couple of things and then came up with this quite plain but quirky design.
The heads are sposed to be quite sinister and give an idea of stripping Barbie of all that makes her, HER and stripping her of most of what influences these young girls to want to be her.
Behind the first two are fabrics which have been used for Barbies clothes.

Monday, 13 April 2009


Drawing Ideas for my animation are the circularatory system for bringing Barbie to life and giving her the human characteristics of the heart.
This is a you tube video of how it works, to give me a good idea of what i need to draw for my animation. This human characteristic, makes the link between the Barbie and the young minds the doll is inflicting.

Barbie? A Guttless Whore?

This is a rationale i wrote, which explains my reasons behind what i plan to do in the animation. The title of this entry is possibly something which will be written as the guts fall out of Barbie...? I need to ask people what they think written would be most effective.


Iv’e always, (even as a 19 year old) had a love for dolls, Disney princess’ and Barbie. So I felt that basing my project on this could also give me the chance to express my negative opinions towards the doll culture and how they can create or be victimizing to young girls wanting to be as perfect as these dolls, just as the media and magazines do to young girls. It’s a topic which has always wound me up and I know that it annoys others too, but no one ever seems to say or do anything about it in the media.

For my final piece I plan to put together an animation which challenges whether Barbie is a good influence on young girls. If I manage my time okay then I I would like to design wrapping paper and a series of birthday cards celebrating Barbies’ 50th Birthday this year.

My animation will involve, taking/pulling the Barbie apart at the beginning, which symbolizes, or metaphorically says she’ not real but to develop into the ending which will say the way she influences young girls is real. This is seen through a human girl at the end in stop-motion (imitating Barbie). Through the guts leaving Barbie and feeding the girl it says that Barbie is feeding these young girls with the wrong body image and this sometimes leads to girls becoming anorexic and seriously ill. I want a shocking and quirky, but subtle ending. 

Barbies and Self-esteem...

Feminists have criticized the Barbie doll for promoting an unrealistic body ideal for women and potentially damaging the self-image of young girls. Ruth Handler, the Barbie doll inventor, said she conceived the Barbie doll as a way to help girls imagine their future as adult women and to bolster their self-image.

"I believed it was important to a little girl's self-esteem to play with a doll that has breasts," Handler said.

Considering her stated goal, it seems ironic that Handler modeled her Barbie doll after Lilli, a sex toy for men, which she had seen during a trip to Germany.

Apparently if Barbie was a real human being, she would have to walk on all fours because her proportions are so unbalenced.

Barbie Sales Since 1950.

Barbie is still evidently around and ever popular as they wouldnt be selling them still?
BUT is it ever popular? As my subject is 'the childs' relationship with Barbie, i need to get the childrens input, however as it is an audience that i am not and cannot be in direct contact with, I've had to check it all out on the internet.
Is the market of Barbie now more aimed at the older generation and collectors? Or are there still a few children getting the different pleasures and relationship with Barbie? Is this relationship healthy? 

Here is an exract from wikipedia on Barbie and Sales...

'Mattel estimates that there are well over 100,000 avid Barbie collectors. Ninety percent are women, at an average age of 40, purchasing more than twenty Barbie dolls each year. Forty-five percent of them spend upwards of $1000 a year.'

'In recent years Mattel has sold a wide range of Barbie dolls aimed specifically at collectors, including porcelain versions, vintage reproductions, and depictions of Barbie as a range of characters from television series such as The Munsters and Star Trek. There are also collector's edition dolls depicting Barbie dolls with a range of different ethnic identities'.

US sales of Barbie fell 15% in the first quarter, despite a February stunt which saw her "breaking up" with her suitor of 43 years, Ken.
That combined with other problems to see overall profits at the Barbie maker Mattel slump by 73%.
Barbie is feeling the heat from rival brands such as feisty "Bratz" dolls.
Her bad performance domestically in the first three months of the year followed even worse figures in the last quarter of 2003, when sales fell by 25%.
Global sales of the doll have also continued to fall off, dropping 6% in the first quarter following a 5% drop in the one before.

Who Is Barbie?

There are many figures that are made in the Barbie style. 
This is work I did in my elective, which I based on the disney princess Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. She looks very like Barbie. Does this count as Barbie? Just dressed to look like a famous disney princess?

This is a page in a newspaper i found and i instantly imagined the body cut out, leaving the Barbie style hair. I wanted to provoke a feeling of Barbie really is just plastic with a bad tan and mostly blonde hair...with this image.

Photography Practice. ANDY.

As part of my major project, i got the chance to learn a little more about photography and then practice these skills in the studio to help me with my final piece. I learnt alot across the two days and here are a series of some of my shots of andy concentrating on light, aswell as shutter-speed and aperture.

 This last photo was concentrating on depth of field and getting the hand in focus and the background blurred.
Below are a couple of photos of the Barbies which i applied the same rule to.

Bellia Buys Barbie(ies).

On the hunt for THE BARBIE.
I went out thinking i wouldnt find any, but low and behold, every charity shop i went into had a couple. I bought three for £1.75 each from the first shop and one naked Barbie for 50p from the next, and here they are...

Below are some photos i took in the studio to really capture The Barbie.

Animating the Doll.

These are a couple of videos/animation i found of Barbie, i looked at them as ways of bringing the Barbie to life, which is in some ways what i want to achieve throughout this brief. Understanding peoples' perceptions of the doll and understanding Barbie herself...

This first one is a Vintage 60's Barbie Commercial, it was a commercial for when Barbie & friends first got bendable legs and is from the 1960s. It shows a in a couple of parts, the directors attempting to make them look more real, with a little bit of stop frame animation.

Vintage 60s The Barbie Look Commercial

Below is a really shit, video of someone embeding their own mouth onto the Barbie and making her speak. Its not amazing but the idea is there and its quite funny seeing her animated in this way that we're not used to.

Barbie talks

Barbie Celebrates Her 50th Birthday!

March 9th 2009.

Celebrations happened all around the world. Models dressed as Barbie entertained large crowds at an event at Hamleys toy shop in central London, one of the Barbies arrived at Hamleys in a pink limousine and was greeted by hundreds of young girls. Another model posed in a copy of Barbie’s first swimsuit in zebra print.

'Barbie blew out 50 candles on a customized cake, which was a tower of over 2,000 pink cupcakes. Barbie Millicent Roberts’ official birthday is this upcoming Tuesday. The doll has taken some criticism in recent years for representing the unattainable look and the wrong message to young girls'.
From an article on the internet.

Aswell as creating an animation, I think it's important to highlight the fact its Barbies 50th year this year, and so if i can manage my time properly, i would like to create wrapping paper and a series of birthday cards with my negative view on Barbie.
I will draw and also photograph Barbies I cutomise, aswell as putting together a human Barbie (using one of my friends) to photograph and put on the cards or wrapping paper.
Creating the human Barbie, i may also use at the end of my animation.


Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by Matell, Inc. and was put out into the world in March 1959. Barbie was founded by American businesswoman Ruth Handler (1916-2002) and is credited with the creation of the doll. She used a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

Barbie has always been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle. In recent years, Barbie has faced increasing competition from the Bratz range of dolls.

Using Barbie as my focal doll, is important in terms of the greater audience i can have, being around since the 50's means young and old people will know of Barbie. Not only this but this year, just a month ago, infact on March the 9th of this year it was Barbies 50th Birthday. Lots of people came together to celebrate and so i feel using barbie would be appropriate and this 50 year celebration could have something to do with my final piece?

Promoting or remembering?

The Doll Culture.

For my major project I wanted to look into the doll culture. I had a general interest in who these dolls are and how people relate to them.
Wanting to attract a wider audience for my final piece i wanted to concentrate on a doll that was popular world wide and that would be interesting to a wide age group aswell. I decided on The Barbie Doll.
Whilst looking into the Barbie, It became clear that although the Barbie was also critiscised. Feminists have criticised the doll for promoting an unrealistic body ideal for women and potentially damaging the self-image of young girls.

I've started the project with Barbie in mind and thought about the many different jobs barbie has and has had over the years. I wanted to almost take the piss out of how unrealistic the Barbie is and try and create personalities for Barbie that could ultimately be these young girls who are under the influence of Barbie in bad ways and feel pressured to look like Barbie. I would do this through drawing and actually changing Barbies i will buy. Examples of Barbies i might construct could be, Punk Barbie, Teenage mum Barbie, anorexic Barbie and drug abusing Barbie.

In this project i would really like my final piece to be an animation and drawings of some kind? It seems the perfect oppertunity to try it as i've never done animation before and its something that interests me greatly.

This was the second re-write of my Brief and Context.
Brief: ''Challenging peoples perspectives and stereotypes of Barbie. Is she all good?"

Context: Dolls have been around since the beginning of human civilization, and nowadays are appreciated by a wide audience, the young and the old (obviously in different ways and for different reasons).
Through finding one of the most popular dolls, Barbie, It's clear that most written about the doll is positive, especially as it was Barbies' 50th birthday in March aswell.
Not all to do with the doll is positive. One of the most common criticisms of the doll is that she promotes an unrealistic idea of body image for young girls, leading to a risk that girls who attempt to be like Barbie will become anorexic.
Is Ruth Handlers' creation ultimately empowering or victimising? How can i show this victimisation?

Being in the early stages of my project i am looking to find the most popular type of doll, which will then serve in drawing in a wider audience for my final piece, and in deciding what i want my final piece to be..and achieve.
As initial research i went on the hunt for any kind of dolls, here are a couple of photos I captured in the studio of 'Rachel' the doll I bought in a charity shop.