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Milkwood Gallery, 11 March 2012 3pm-6pm

For International Women's Day this year, ThinkARK will be running a workshop at Milkwood Gallery using Barbie dolls to explore our own and prevailing attitudes to the female body.

Playing with Barbie dolls as a child is a happy memory for many women.The Barbie Hack is intended as a playful way to encourage people to consider popular views and ideas about the female form, and to challenge those Frankenstein forms presented to us by mass media. Poor Barbie is a representation of what the media tells us we should be - to the extent that her feet were moulded into a permanent tip-toe stance ready for her stilettos!

Come along to Milkwood Gallery on 11th March and mould Barbie into a shape that more accurately represents you. Following the event, the hacked Barbies will be on display at Milkwood Gallery.

Introducing Barbie...
Created in 1959, Barbie is the best-selling fashion doll of all time.
Barbie was one of the first toys to have a marketing strategy based extensively on TV advertising. It is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that 3 Barbie dolls are sold every second. Barbie has become a cultural icon and has been given honours that are rare. In 1974, a section of Times Square in New York City was renamed Barbie Boulevard for a week. In 1985, Andy Warhol created a painting of Barbie.

Full name: Barbara Millicent Roberts.
Date of Birth: March 9, 1959.
Vital Statistics: 5ft 9' tall, 36' chest, 18' waist, 33' hips.

Inspired by a German 'adult' doll, Bild Lilli, Barbie's unrealistic body shape has caused controversy over the years. Her popularity ensures that her effect on the play of children attracts a high degree of scrutiny. The criticisms levelled at her are often based on the assumption that children consider Barbie a role model and will attempt to emulate her. The most common criticism of Barbie is that she promotes an unrealistic idea of body image for women, leading to a risk that girls who attempt to emulate her will become anorexic.

At 5'9" tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia, and would lack the 17 to 22% body fat required for a woman to menstruate.

Mattel has said that the waist of the Barbie doll was made small because the waistbands of her clothes, along with their seams, snaps, and zips, added bulk to her figure.

In 1997, Barbie's body mould was redesigned and given a wider waist, with Mattel saying that this would make the doll better suited to contemporary fashion designs.

(Information from Wikipedia)

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