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Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie

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Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie

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Wednesday 18 September 8.30pm Channel 039

Director Andrea Nevins follows the efforts to transform Barbie into more than a 21st-century toy. We follow the designers and marketers attempting to rebrand Barbie’s public image by remodeling her appearance. Along the way, Nevins interviews feminist historians and writers including Gloria Steinem, Amanda Foreman, Peggy Orenstein and Roxane Gay about their own impressions of Barbie dolls. As Nevins loops in cultural touchstones like beauty pageants, it gradually becomes apparent that a history of Barbie is nothing less than a history of Western womanhood. Our Barbies… ourselves. But the most fascinating aspect is how it uses Barbie as a metaphor for a culture that’s still infinitely more preoccupied with what a woman looks like than what she says.