I recently had the honor of working with Vermont author Tanya Stone on her just released new book about “BARBIE, The Good, The Bad and The Barbie”. Tanya is an enormous talent, a prolific chldren’s author, and this book is a non-fiction read for middle schoolers and older on how Barbie has affected our culture. I loved it! It’s been published by Viking Children’s Books , a division of Penguin Publishing and I was hired to shoot the cover and all of the inside illustrations. How cool, right?
Now, anyone who knows me would certainly believe that I NEVER played with Barbies as a kid so this seemed like an unlikely subject for me to get excited about. BUT, that was before I was introduced to the Barbie collection owned by Shelburne resident Peter Harrigan. By day, Peter is a professor of Fine Arts at St. Mike’s College, but by night, Peter is a HUGE Barbie collector, who travels across the country to conventions to add to his Barbie bonanza. He and his partner even have a room in their home to display all the dolls (which I have yet to get over and see in all it’s glory!)
On a cold winter day, Tanya, Peter and I got down to the business of playing Barbie at my Burlington studio. Peter supplied all of the dolls, props and accessories– it’s all in the accessories, ya know! We had Barbies from virtually every culture and country in the world; boxes and boxes of dolls from domestic Barbies to Working girl Barbies, to Celebrity Barbies (Rosie O’Donnell was my favorite!), and of course, KEN and all of the other boys for Barbie to flirt with!! Really, it was quite a site!
Eight hours later, we wrapped up the session and called it a day. I still had the cover and a few other shots to make elsewhere, but the bulk of the work was done, and my inaugural Barbie Play Date was over. Here are some of the highlights:
Here comes the Bride…
I wanted Barbie and Ken to get a little naughty. I mean, they had been dating for how long?
I love this next image. When I saw the weight of “110”on the bathroom scale, I just had to photograph it! I think the last time I weighed that I 10-yrs-old!
Check out Ken, the resident Sherpa for Barbie and her friends!
In the Next photo, Tanya wanted to show how Barbie’s waist line has grown (though, not much!) since the early anorexic days…
The Little Black Dress never goes out of style!
On the left is the original Barbie in the original packaging; On the right are some of the “mod” 70’s dolls:
The working girls….
I had to include this. It’s a photo of my daughter, now 16 yrs old, wearing the ballet outfit that actually arrived on a LIFE SIZE Barbie, sent to her from her grandfather! It’s one thing to have a few of your child’s naked Barbies in your shower; it’s another to have a life size naked Barbie sit at the dinner table at night!
And, finally, below, is my “Bad Girl” Barbie, a gift from Peter Harrigan, posing with MY two favorite dolls. My What The Duck represents my present (notice the camera) and the Herman Munster represents my past (Yes, my favorite doll as a child was a Herman Munster puppet!). I’m not sure if thre “bad girl” represents my future, but you never know!