Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Not Just a (Barbie) Girl


Emma's fifth birthday
Emma's fifth birthday


Let me start this post by saying that I admittedly have a special place in my heart for Barbie- not a particularly feminist revelation, I know. Of course Barbie's teeny tiny waist, little turned up nose, and long legs are totally stereotypical and unattainable traits marketed to young, impressionable girls as "ideals." The whole Barbie world is pretty superficial and materialistic and as a child I ate it up. I can tell you right now I would've picked Malibu or Peaches 'n Cream Barbie over Ambassador or Paleontologist Barbie any day. Barbie's world is a fantasy- the huge wardrobe, the Dream House, and Ken! That's what I loved about it.  And just like good fats are a component of any well balanced diet, I think Barbie, in doses, can be a healthy part of a little girl's world. But there's got to be substance with the fluff- reality with the fantasy.

Recently I read about Jaime Moore, a photographer and mother, who decided she wanted to mark her daughter Emma's fifth birthday in a more educational way than playing into what she sees as an 'unrealistic fantasy' spoonfed to many young girls. Instead of celebrating with poofy dresses and glitter, Jaime decided to celebrate by dressing Emma up as five different influential women from history- Amelia Earhart, Coco Chanel, Susan B Anthony, Helen Keller and Jane Goodall - to capture her emulating these real women for a photo series. Beyond the photographs, Jaime wanted to educate Emma about women who had undoubtedly "changed her life for the better." In connection with the project, Jaime challenged- "Let's set aside the Barbie Dolls and the Disney Princesses for just a moment, and let's show our girls the REAL women they can be."

Not only do I think she has a point, I admire the photos as simultaneously poignant and adorable... ripe with possibility and rich in history.  Even cooler than a Barbie doll and too interesting not to share...




Amelia Earhart
Emma's fifth birthdayEmma's fifth birthday




Hellen Keller
Emma's fifth birthdayEmma's fifth birthday 

























Jane Goodall
Emma's fifth birthdayEmma's fifth birthday




Susan B. Anthony
Emma's fifth birthdayEmma's fifth birthday




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