"Most little girls grow up playing with Barbie dolls. Some even want to look like them. One 21–year–old has become one, or so she says.
Valeria Lukyanova has become an internet sensation in her home country of Russia, claiming on her blog to be the most famed woman on the Russian–language internet.
Her doll–like features, long blonde hair and 'perfect' body make her look like a real life Barbie."
(Laura Cox, PUBLISHED: 18:14, 22 April 2012 | UPDATED: 01:40, 25 April 2012, Dailymail.co.uk)
"Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation (90 min; TV–14 DL) uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under–representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.
In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman's value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.
Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective."
(Jennifer Siebel Newsom)
"Oh, Playboy, why do you want your 'readers' to lust after androids? That's the only explanation we can think of for the proportions of your lovely ladybots. We culled the stats for every centerfold from December 1953 (Marilyn Monroe) to January 2009 (Dasha Astafieva), then calculated each woman's body–mass index.
A clear trend emerged: While real American women have steadily eaten their way up the BMI slope – just like American men – Playmates have gone from a sylphlike 19.4 to an anime–ideal 17.6."
(Katharine Gammon, 19.02.09)
"By the mid–nineteenth century, the academic tradition of the Paris Salon was under attack by artists who wanted to break with the image of an ideal female body, and replace it with a reflection of the nude as it might be seen in the contemporary, modern world. The realist artist Edouard Manet shocked the Salon public with Olympia in 1863, a portrait that completely disregarded the formalist tradition of painting the nude, and depicted a low–class prostitute sprawled out on an unmade bed. Contemporaries labelled Manet's technique rough and crude, his brushstrokes hurried and inconsistent, and his use of colour alarming. Olympia's skin, in particular, caused outrage. Unlike the polished finish of classical nudes, Manet had used tones of yellow and grey, which made her skin look sallow, and had outlined her figure in a rough, dark line, which gave her a flat and two–dimensional appearance. Art critics noted that Olympia had 'dirty hands and wrinkled feet;' 'her face is stupid, her skin cadaverous [...] she does not have a human form.' They also criticized Manet's break with the traditional rules of the gaze. Unlike Venus's seductive, yet demure and mysterious half–glance, Olympia stared brazenly out from the canvas. Her forceful gaze communicated confidence, defiance, and self–possession, which was disarming when paired with her nakedness. The subject matter was also roundly criticized. Manet had painted a common prostitute, not a genteel courtesan, and had made no attempt to conceal this fact. As T. J. Clark has noted, her placement in a comfortably bourgeois setting added to the shocking effect of the painting, and in the figure of Olympia, Manet had successfully bared the social taboos of prostitution, illicit sex and disease, all of which were growing concerns during the second half of the nineteenth century. With this image, Manet had created what he felt was a realistic, honest, depiction of the female body, one that was stripped of the artistic traditions of form and technique, and connected to some of the disconcerting elements of modern life."
(Julie Anne Johnson, 2008)
[Edouard Manet''s Olympia works as a parody of Titian' 'The Venus of Urbino'.]
8. T. J Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Age of Manet and his Followers, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1984, 134.
9. Charles Bernheimer, 'Manet's Olympia: The Figuration of Scandal,' Poetics Today, Volume 10, Issue 2, Art & Literature II (Summer 1989): 255–277, 256.
"[The] dolls ... are each custom made to order ... [and include an] extensive list of options, from body type and face type all the way down to fingernail colour. If you've ever dreamed of creating your ideal woman, then you have come to the right place."
[Life–like sex dolls suggest Blade Runner–style scenarios. A world where replicant partners can be created according to ones desires – where replicants like Blade Runner's protagonist Rick Deckard, can disappear into the sunset with their own personal (sex–doll) replicant.]