Many artists have chosen this theme as the focal point of their works, each choosing to highlight how unrealistic doll standards could impact self-esteem, even into adulthood. You may have seen the photos of artist Nickolay Lamm's 3-D model of a doll with a more human figure, who he then Photoshopped to look just like a real Barbie — but, Sheila Pree Bright's latest photographic series takes this idea to a completely new (and majorly thought-provoking) level.
In her 2003 series Plastic Bodies — on tour now with the Posing Beauty In African American Culture art show — Pree Bright focuses on women of color and their often difficult relationship with white beauty standards. By combining images of real women with faces of dolls, the artist questions the (dubious) standard of beauty in American culture.
"American concepts of the 'perfect female body' are clearly exemplified through commercialism, portraying 'image as everything' and introducing trends that many spend hundreds of dollars to imitate," Pree Bright told the HuffPo in a series of emails. "As a result, the female body becomes a replica of a doll, and the essence of natural beauty in popular American culture is replaced by fantasy. This body of work addresses the loss of personal identity many women experience, specifically women of color."
Click through to see additional images of this phenomenal photo series.