I drew this version of Barbie for my fashion designer friend Adrienne. It was for a competition. I was very pleased with how the illustration turned out and it also met with the approval of Adrienne’s 3 year old daughter. Even though we both thought that Sunstar Barbie was brilliant, the judges didn’t agree and she didn’t get to go to the finals. You can read the whole story on Adrienne’s blog. I love how she describes her creative take:
Barbie gets a hard time, a lot of the time. From Moms. From Feminists. From Feminist Moms. You know, everybody loves to hate Barbie, give her flack about her unachievable proportions, her being a bad role model for little girls. She is often acquiring another career to appease her critics, to make her more of an independent woman who is in charge of her own destiny. So my gal, Sunstar Barbie, is the antithesis to the criticism. She’s all about being the unapologetic center of attention, the centre of the universe, actually. She’s rockin in the free world, strutting her stuff, a happy, fun, shiny star.
I would totally buy this Barbie for my daughters. I didn’t want my design to have anything to do with sexiness, or even beauty (in the Barbie sense). I guess. But this Barbie is a dynamic, individual of a woman that I want to know more about.
Adrienne’s Barbie idea definitely had a better shot than mine did in 2004 – I guess there’s only so much subversion you can get away with when it comes to Barbie.