Monday, January 12, 2009

Altered Barbie

Dear Diary,

This is my first rejection. I submitted this altered Barbie to the Art Doll Quarterly Altered Barbie Challenge. It hit me hard that it was sent back even though my sistas didn't like it and said she was creepy looking. They tell it like it is and I love them for it.

My friends at school and I were talking about when we were young we had one Barbie we played with. Girls now have so many Barbies. I counted my daughter's once and she had 60. (Shame on me) They were all undressed and had haircuts.

I don't remember when I got my Barbie but it must have been sometime in the sixties. Janice, my younger sista, got one just like it so it must have been on our Birthday because we have the same birthday, but different years. She came with three wigs and fabulous blue eye shadow. My Barbie had a full and exciting life as a world traveler, movie star, fashion designer, teacher, and mom. Although she was always barefoot, she often wore original designs made from Kleenex, tape, and sometimes fabric. She was so alluring and exotic!

My Barbie went to the attic and stayed in seclusion during the 1970's, 1980's and early 1990's. She returned to the public eye in 1996, when my daughter was three. Barbie was just getting her life back (wearing new clothes, traveling with the family) when the tragedy occurred. She was left outside overnight and mauled by our dog, Chuck. One half of her body was chewed beyond recognition. I was crushed and devastated! John, who was 13 at the time repaired her body with duct tape and shish kabob sticks. Her new look was "Exotic Bionic". But, sadly, her fashions didn't hang right on her new frame. I threw away her bionic body and tossed her head in my jewelry box.

When I read about the Barbie challenge, I got so excited. I love Barbie (She used to be one of my addictions but I've moved on). I thought about altering one of Elizabeth's Barbies but she had played beauty shop with them and I had my Barbie that really could use a comeback. I had some beautiful wood chairs in the garage that were not sturdy enough to sit in so I built her body out of one of the legs. She no longer had the hourglass figure. Her curves were now multiple and wide like mine. I gave her new arms. The new arms had belonged to Esmeralda's boyfriend, Phoebus, from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. They were large and flexible and strong enough to support a tea light. I like her rich and natural look and when I light the candle, the flicker gives her a mysterious glow. I keep her inside and up high so she will stay safe.


Suzan Buckner said...

Awww..we all suffer rejection. I got my first BIG rejection last week, and it threw me for a loop. It'll be better next time for you! Don't give up!!

I like your altered Barbie btw!!!

Sarah said...

Poor Barbie!!! Maybe the pumped up arms caused them to do a drug test on her...guess she failed!!
You have quite the creative mind...don't let a little rejection get you down.
BTW, I love the old photos on your sidebar and header.

Heartinmyhand said...

I love her new look

Leslie said...

Lisa, your diary entry is really quite profound. All about transformation, rebirth and endurance. I am sincerely moved. It's a very touching and hopeful post!
(And Barbie will always represent to me the independent career woman to whom Ken was just another accessory!)
Love you

Tumble Fish Studio said...

I love your post as much as the piece - you crack me up and touch me at the same time. I like the big strong arms - if they were flabby they would match mine. If the actors' strike goes through, I might just have to use your clothes out of kleenex idea.

You are so creative. Don't take the rejection too hard - we've all been there and will be again I'm sure, darn it, and we all take it hard despite what I am telling you not to do! I have a feeling the last pieces I sent in won't make the cut either. Oh well, on to the next project!

Judy said...

Don't let the rejection of your Barbie get you!! Keep submitting! Even "they" have bad judgment at times!!

Look forward! On to the next project!

P.S. My mom wouldn't buy me a Barbie! But I did get a Ginny doll. Handmade clothes for her out of my grandma's scrap basket! Probably a good thing I didn't get that Barbie!

eclectic archivist said...

Have you noticed Goodwill and Savers have all those naked Barbies handing on hooks upside down in plastic bags...but there aren't any Barbie clothes to buy...did Ken get them all in the divorce?

PS Love your Altered Look Barbie!