Immersed myself in Barbie research for a column this week and wound up not using one of my favorite morsels in the piece — Life Coaching Barbie — that will go live on Friday. A print of this amazing painting is in my bedroom and it was a grand moment to see it in Paris at the Musee D’Orsay.
Check this out:
Barbie’s eyes had been cast down and to one side – the averted, submissive gaze that characterized female nudes …What had been so shocking about Manet’s Olympia (1865) was that the model was both naked and unabashedly staring at the viewer. By 1971, however, when America had begun to accept the idea that a woman could be both sexual and unashamed, Barbie, in her ‘Malibu’ incarnation, was allowed to have that body and look straight ahead.
—Forever Barbie, M.G. Lord