Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday wonders - I

I is for Image.

I guess with Barbie that's a big "Duh!".  I've spent the past couple of days getting the donated Barbies ready for sale at the thrift shop.  I have to get pretty up-close and personal with every one. I get to decide how they wear their hair and what clothes they wear.  In short, I am the image-maker.

 I think about who buys the dolls.  Little girls or their moms?  So, the Barbie who is all dressed in a fancy - usually pink - gown will probably appeal to the girl. 

 But mom might be looking for a more realistic image.  I've noticed that the Barbies who wear jeans and T-shirts (even tiny ones)  are not as quickly snapped up as those who are ready for a royal event.  As a dresser, I find that I prefer the hiking boots to the high heels.  They stay on better for one thing.  But I can imagine better the life of a jeans-wearing hiker than I can that of a fairy princess.  

But, before I get to the dressing part, I have to make a decision to keep or discard the doll.  What some little girls (and probably boys) do to Barbies is beyond me.  Amputations I can't do anything about so,  mostly, it's a matter of cleaning the leaves from the back yard out of those long tresses.  And washing the sticky dirt off their arms and legs.  Oh, and the DIY tattoos made with felt pen.  My hope is that they've used a washable marker. 

But I find myself wondering about the image of the Barbie which has been 'mutilated'.  Is this doll any less beautiful because she has shorn hair?  I found this one so compelling that I dressed her for resale anyway.  I hope that someone else appreciates her a strong and quirky persona.

And the one below was covered in blue marker to the point where her face was unrecognizable. And I don't even want to think about why.  I managed to clean most but some of the ink had permeated the plastic and this was the result...

Now what's the story behind the image?  A battered woman?  A skin condition?  Again, I found it oddly beautiful.  As though the  the blue coloring enhanced her regular features and set her on a different plane of beauty.  Sadly, though, she was discarded. That speaks very loudly of image to me.

I know it's only dolls and I probably think way too much as I make them presentable again.  I do tend to give them personalities as I spend time with them - up to 20 minutes per doll.   I think personalities always deserve stories.


hip chick said...

I think you are doing a lovely job. I like the one with no hair...

Mimi said...

I love the one with the pink cocktail wear- even though I don't wear that kind of thing (jeans girl here!) I do love it!
Now, the one with no hair might have had chemo? Or is that too depressing in a Barbie world?

April said...

This looks like so much fun. I like the one with no hair also.

Angie said...

Me too - like the style of the shaved headed one!! What a fun thing to do, being an image maker.

Anonymous said...

There is something about the last two dolls that really appeals to me.


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