As an adult, you understand that Barbie isn't a real woman — that her body and beauty are not reflections of the real world. But, not every child has this understanding while interacting with the iconic doll. As such, the toy has come under close scrutiny in recent years for promoting false ideals of beauty to children.
Contentions over Barbie's identity and beauty inspired Paris-based artist Hamid Blad to create "Barbie Blad." His photo series features a plethora of Barbie dolls presented in a harsh light. His goal was to "give them a real face with imperfections." To do so, he used collodion and a cold UV light to "render the skin of the Barbie very human," Blad told us via email.
Despite the artist's explanation of his project, it's difficult to spot the imperfections in Blad's doll subjects. Marks of a real woman's face, like wrinkles, blemishes, or skin discoloration from sun exposure are missing from the images. The symmetry of their faces and clarity of their skin tones remain.
When we asked Blad which flaws he was specifically trying to illustrate, he replied, "I try to show the borderline between the real and the fake beauty, nuances or hair have been blurred. I show even Barbie dolls — like real humans — are dissimilar."