Reinventing Barbie Bash

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					USU’s Women and Gender Studies Program
announces its first . . .


Reinventing Barbie Bash
    . . . to celebrate Women’s History Month in March 2009, and to expand
             consciousness about gender roles, portrayals and expectations.

It’s not just about Barbie, the plastic pink princess, that icon of American girlhood who turns
50 in 2009. Ken’s invited, too, along with Skipper, Bratz girls, G.I. Joe and other action
figures that have helped shape kids’ childhood and worldview.


The Contest: Contestants are invited to redesign and reinvent iconic dolls that
(mis)represent American gender and society, to challenge gender stereotypes by presenting
Barbie and her friends in new settings and contexts that make alternative and feminist
statements. Finalists will be on display in the USU Library throughout March 2009. (See
contest guidelines.)


The Essay Contest: Essays also are invited on the role of Barbie/Ken/Joe and
others in your own life. These will be personal commentaries on “Barbie* & Me!”—
memories of playing with dolls, blowing up dolls, dolls as your best friends, and ways that
these uniquely American icons have influenced your own life and worldview. *(or
Ken/Joe/Bratz/Raggedy Ann). (See contest guidelines.)

Who May Enter: Contestants may enter dolls and essays in one of four categories:
Student, Faculty/Staff, Team, or Community.


Deadline: February 17, delivered to Professor Brenda Cooper, JCOM Department,
AnSci 310, USU (UMC 4605) with essays also emailed to Brenda.Cooper@usu.edu. For
more information: 797-3292

               (Co-sponsored by WGRI, the Merrill-Cazier Library, and the JCOM Department)
                 RULES
  USU Women and Gender Studies Program

            Reinventing Barbie Bash
     . . . to celebrate Women’s History Month in March 2009, and to expand
              consciousness about gender roles, portrayals and expectations.


Contest Rules: Doll/sculptures are multi-media recreations with an attitude, that make use
of actual dolls (Barbie/Ken/Skipper, Bratz, G.I. Joe or others) and remake them in ways that offer
commentary on issues including (but not limited to): gender/race/ethnic roles, individualization,
stereotypes, identity, societal norms/mores/ expectations, mass media portrayals, commercialization,
tradition, sports, politics, business, etc. All entries should be free-standing (i.e., mounted) and titled,
with the entrant’s name(s), category (student, faculty/staff, team, or community) and contact
information attached.


Essay Contest Rules: Essays on “Barbie* & Me!” (* or Ken, Joe, Bratz, etc.) are
personal commentary/reminiscence on the role of these iconic dolls in your life. Did you want to be
Barbie when you grew up? (and are you?) Did you become G.I. Joe? How did these childhood
playmates affect your life and worldview? How do you see the gender stereotypes reflected in these
kinds of dolls and action figures manifested in American popular culture and society? Requirements:
Typed, 400 words max, submitted both on hard copy and electronically (to Brenda.Cooper@usu.edu).


What This Is NOT: Entries will be rejected if they are deemed by contest judges to be
inappropriate—obscene or overly sexual, violent or portraying violence, or otherwise hurtful to any
individual or group.


Display & Prizes: The judges will select finalists from all entries, and these will be
displayed during Women’s History Month beginning March 1 in the Merrill-Cazier Library. The public
will vote on favorites, and judges will award prizes to both doll sculpture and essay winners in various
categories during gala ceremonies on March 24, 3-5 p.m., in the Library Conference Room.

The WGS program reserves rights to the use of all entries.


Selected Inspiration:
• San Francisco Chronicle: The sixth annual Altered Barbie art show
Barbie is the ultimate cougar. She's single, frolics with younger men and, at 49 years old, doesn't look a day over
17. That is, until she's altered. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/01/PK9U11TUM8.DTL
• Times of London: Skinny Barbie blamed over eating disorders
Barbie dolls, the rite of passage for many young girls, may contribute to eating disorders in adolescence, according
to new research. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1083049.ece
• NYTimes: While Barbie Talks Tough, G. I. Joe Goes Shopping
Your son tears the wrapping paper off his fierce new "Talking Duke" G. I. Joe doll and eagerly presses the talk
button. Out comes a painfully chirpy voice that sounds astonishingly like Barbie's saying, "Let's go shopping!"
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE6D9143EF932A05751C1A965958260
• NYTimes: Mattel Says It Erred; Teen Talk Barbie Turns Silent on Math
A talking Barbie doll criticized by a national women's group for saying "math class is tough" will no longer utter the
offending lament, Mattel Inc. has decided.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE7DE103AF932A15753C1A964958260
• NYTimes: “How Happy Barbies Are!'' (''Qué Felices Son las Barbies!''), a satirical comedy with a dark message
. . . a suggestion that Barbie pull the wool over the eyes of her boyfriend, Ken, and set up a hot date with G.I. Joe.
(http://theater2.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?pagewanted=print&res=9501E0D8113EF933A1575BC0A
9679C8B63)

				
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