Dismembered 'Barbie' jewelry is here to haunt your dreams forever
If you're a woman under the age of about 60, the chances are that you had a Barbie doll at some point in your childhood. And, if you're anything like me, you were probably creeped out by the thing.
I could never quite tell whether it was her inhumanly skeletal figure, her cold, constant stare into the abyss, or her surprising resistance to any and all forms of destruction (I once threw mine out of a window) that made her so terrifying, but there was always something about the tiny plastic woman that made me uneasy.
However, it seems that the creepiness she exuded as a fully-formed person was only half the story.
As part of a jewelry range, designer Margaux Lange has pushed the boundaries of Barbie's eeriness by chopping her into bits and selling her body parts as accessories. And - amazingly - they've proven to be quite popular.
"The first piece [of Barbie jewelry] I ever made was a pair of hand earrings," Lange said in an interview with The New York Post. "It just seemed kind of easy — one hand for each ear. Then, it grew from there."
On her website, she sells pins, necklaces, and earrings using everything from Barbie's pearly white teeth to her suspiciously smooth chest. The pieces don't come cheap, however, with the smallest items starting at $80 and the more bespoke ones tipping over the $1k mark. One accessory - a "rare green Barbie doll eye surrounded by ... hand-pigmented rich matte finish resins" - is currently listed at $1,200!
Lange sources the parts from dolls on eBay, at garage sales, or from regular vendors at her local flea market in New York, and often brings her 6-year-old daughter along so that she can help choose the best raw materials. According to the designer, her little girl isn't bothered by seeing the tiny women get hacked to bits; in fact, she still plays with them even after they've been mutilated, referring to them as "ghost Barbies".
Before she was making jewelry, though, the designer was experimenting with Barbies in other ways.
"One time I made her into a carrot," Lange said. "Her body was orange and her hair stuck up straight, green at the top."
And it just got weirder from there.
"Some people are a little creeped out [by my designs]," she admitted. "They say it’s like cutting up a woman and isolating her parts, but I don’t see it that way."
Regardless of what people think of her work, Lange says that the iconic doll will always be special to her.
"In my life, Barbie played such a pivotal role in my creative development," she said. "However, I do appreciate that that’s not everybody’s experience with her. I like to keep my work open and have people interpret it as they will."
So, if you are - like Lange - a huge fan of the dolls, or - like me - a staunch avoider of anything Barbie-related, there might be a piece for you in this collection. Personally, I find myself drawn to the little hand earrings. As for the eyeball pieces... I think I'll have to pass this time.