Anatomical Barbie Offers a Fascinatingly Grotesque Study of the Doll’s Impossible Body
Sculptor and designer Jason Freeny has a knack for dissecting cute and iconic childhood figures into grotesque but thought-provoking artwork. Although the Anatomical Barbies may be Freeny’s most controversial pieces, he’s explored the fictitious innards of numerous beloved characters from Mickey Mouse to Hello Kitty. Freeny relies on scientific illustrations to guide the tricky process of designing the toys’ inner anatomy, and after cutting away half of the toy, inserts the hand-sculpted clay components shaped like bones and organs.
With her wasp waist and endless legs, Barbie has been both loved and lambasted for her unrealistic body proportions. Her distorted body, which has been blamed for promoting an unhealthy body image in young girls, provided an interesting challenge to Freeny who highlights just how impossible Barbie’s body is with the tiny, hand-sculpted digestive system crammed into the toy.
Although Anatomical Barbie and her fellow dissected peers might seem inappropriate for child’s play at first glance, Freeny tells the Smithsonian that children are much more fascinated than scared by the custom toys. “I believe that being frightened by inner anatomy is a learned thing. It’s something that’s taught to kids by society, rather than something that’s innate.”
Images via Jason Freeny Facebook
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