“Barbie Falls On Hard Times” Returns To OU Women’s Center

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From Sept. 13 to Oct. 10, the Ohio University Women's Center will host the exhibit Barbie Falls on Hard Times: The Sequel.

This exhibit marks the second presentation for the Barbie Falls on Hard Times photo essay at the Womens Center, and will feature images created after the close of the first exhibition in 2012 – a continuation of a series of  environmental portraits by artist-photographer Kari Gunter-Seymour.

Gunter-Seymour’s art focuses on body image and self-esteem issues as it examines what the famous Mattel doll's life would be like if she were challenged with real-life issues that women of all ages face, like cleaning the bathroom or getting stood up on her wedding day.

"By not having normal-weight people with ordinary complexions, hair and teeth as role models on TV or in the movies, and by not having dolls that are realistically structured to represent the actual norm, the message being sent is that normal-looking people or people on the heavier side are not acceptable," Gunter-Seymour said.

Barbie Falls on Hard Times #20, Kari Gunter-Seymour

Gunter-Seymour presents her work in large format black and white, rather than full color, creating tension and accentuating the use of light and shadow.

"I think the message I am sending out directly addresses important women’s issues," she said. "By 'spoofing' on Barbie, I am saying love yourself and love your body…even the most 'perfect' iconic woman can fall on hard times."

Barbie Falls on Hard Times #26, Kari Gunter-Seymour

A reception 

is being planned for Friday, Sept. 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the OU Women's Center, located on the fourth floor of Baker University Center.

"I'm looking forward to getting together with everyone at the opening reception to join in what I hope will be some animated conversations concerning how we as women, here in Appalachia look at and feel about our bodies, and share ideas about working to change the impact of our national culture," said Gunter-Seymour.