Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Barbie and Culture Jamming?
In 1993, the Barbie Liberation Organization went against Mattel's normal image of Barbie to create Barbie's that do not image what Barbie normally represents. A group of 300 activists or more in the organization bought Barbie Dolls and performed "surgery" on them, recreating their image into what the mainstream would call the unthinkable. During the "surgery" activists switched the voice chips in a stereotypical Barbie with a GI-Joe Doll. Once the surgery was over the members of the movement would go back to the stores and put the Barbies's and the GI-Joe's back on the shelves (reverse-shoplifting). On the Barbie Liberation Organization website (RTMarkB.L.O.) they encouraged others to join this movement by performing the switcharoo on their own. This movement altered stereotypical gender roles that Mattel (Barbies creator) represents.
I think this movement is extremely powerful (kind of illegal), but extremely powerful. I think people have gender stereotypes instilled in their heads because of the mainstream media's conformist views. I think it is amazing when a group of people fight for what they believe in. Especially, if it means going against the norm to express how you feel. This movement is inspirational. The Barbie Liberation Organization is a divergent voice because activist were able to revolt against consumerism, stereotypes, and the mainstream through a unique approach.
You can learn more about the Barbie Liberation Organization here: RTMark: B.L.O.