BrainBank: Barbie and Ken

Before I started my day, I browsed through my dashboard on tumblr where I cam across this Barbie style photoshoot. When looking at the pictures as I set, I was not entirely sure what was going on in the images, so I decided to view them full screen and in order. The photos included live models that were positioned to stand or sit like a real Barbie or Ken doll would. Their makeup also resembled the dolls. The first shot set the stage introducing the characters in the doll style setting. As the pictures continued, Ken was being painted in a very feminine light. He participated in the same activities as Barbie. However, realistically speaking, when a child plays with a Barbie and Ken doll, the dolls are limited to feminine things so at first that fact did not seem odd to me. Had it been a real photoshoot, then it would have been questionable. In the following image, the femininity became exaggerated and that is when I started to question where this photoshoot was going.



Ken, muscular and all, is sitting with his legs crossed and is wearing bright pink pumps! Barbie’s outfit blends into the dull pink background while Ken stands out to bring attention to what is going on with him.

The following image skips to after Ken stands Barbie up and she gets drunk alone. Barbie and Ken are sleeping and dreaming about G.I. Joe. Barbie dreams of a clothed G.I. Joe that holds her in a romantic way. Ken, on the other hand, dreams of a shirtless G.I. Joe who holds him in a sexy way. Obviously, from this scene, one can gather that Ken is homosexual.


In the following images, Barbie catches Ken and his male lover, then Barbie tries to deal with the fact that Ken likes men, she even cuts off her hair and dresses like a man in order to get him to love her, and finally she commits suicide by popping off her head.

I thought this photoshoot was so creative firstly because the live models were positioned exactly the way a Barbie and Ken doll would even down to the fingers. Even the suicide was Barbie like by just popping off her head. I also enjoyed how it explored a more realistic route of Barbie and Ken considering that Ken is living in a woman’s world.

This photoshoot looked so fun to design and participate in, too!


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