Sunday, August 22, 2010
Most of the time, I don't like the taste of art about Barbies and/or the female "body image paradox" (you know, when we want to be thin and lithe and pretty but we don't want to cave into the OCD beauty struggle that sometimes plainly conflicts with natural woman-ness). However, this piece by Maria Gil Ulldemolins strikes another chord of thinking.
The current renewed feminine interest into traditional hand crafts such as knitting and needle point addresses another aspect of womanhood. More women want to take ownership of these traditionally feminine skills. Moreover, artistas worldwide are using the "hand craft" as art media. There is a simple message when putting age old media to use for contemporary female identity themes - there is history in our present condition.
Maria's Cross Stitch Barbie crosses our conflicting ideas of the ideal woman. She addresses more than the physical shape of us by calling out the historically feminine mode in us.
Of course, there's more to this piece that addresses many girls' desire to take apart and often destroy their barbies. I'll leave my comments for the conflicted identity department, but read Maria's own article, Man, I Feel Like a Woman at HAND/EYE magazine's website.