I’ve long suspected that Ken’s permanently affixed plastic underwear was the real deal breaker with Barbie. In my continuing perseveration with Barbie and Ken’s relationship problems comes this story (via Boing Boing) about Marina Bychokova, doll maker extraordinaire. In an interview with Pixelsurgeon, Marina explains:
The dolls are more anatomically correct than your average Barbie doll; why was it important to include detailed genitalia?
It’s compulsory. Most of the dolls, both, Fine Art and children’s dolls, though try to imitate human form, are sterilized through a complete removal of sex organs. It’s as if they need to be cleansed of all their sinful humanity. I find this deliberate denial of the essence of life to be ignorant and appalling. I don’t know why there is so much fear and shame associated with human sexuality. Every Barbie needs to have a vagina. Every Ken needs a penis. I think it’s time the dolls leave the realm of tea parties and innocence and address some important issues.
Each of her exquisitely designed dolls requires 150 to 350 hours of labor, depending on the costume. I’ve always been in awe of artisan doll makers starting with Susanna Oroyan -who doesn’t have a website (!). Here’s a list of like artists.