We all have played with Barbie, the most famous doll in the world, as kids – sometimes even as adults – roleplay games where she was the kindest of mothers or the sweetest of wifes.
But what happens when Barbie is tired of being a trophy? What happens when she recollects the real role she can have in our society?
With a profound exploration in gender issues and female identity, artist Annelies Hofmeyr investigates several themes about the relationship between females and the society and male and female, touching the big issue of love in every darkest and realest shade.
Here is our interview, enjoy it!
How did you start this project?
I was living in Canada at the time – in a new city – and didn’t have many friends to discuss things with so I created the account to talk about the things I’m interested in: gender issues and the modern female identity. I found that using something as non-threatening as a doll helps me talk about more challenging topics.
Where do you take inspiration for every picture?
Inspiration comes from everywhere! From conversations, watching TV, reading – anything!
I am beyond curious: do you use the same Barbie in every photo or do you have a large collection of them?
I use the same blonde Barbie who appears in all the photos but I have quite a collection of different Barbies for her friends
As you say in your site, Barbie is a timeless icon and a standard representation of what femininity has to be. You talk about labels: what are the most used about female and gender? Do you think is it possible to destroy them?
I think the idea that gender is just one thing is a very limited (and limiting) way of thinking. Imagining that labels can be destroyed might be expecting too much, instead I’m interested in challenging them. At the end of the day, people will believe what they want to believe but I have achieved success if they at least considered a different view.
Love is another counterpart of your work: we see Ken and Barbie mixing what is for female and for male in our society. Do you think love is really free nowadays?
I think love has always been free but expressing it has not. The more tolerant people become the more you see people feeling free to express and that’s a beautiful thing.
What is your vision about love? What does this word mean to you?
LOVE = FREEDOM – something that benefits all those who come in contact with it.