the SEXIST edition is a series of 15 images depicting some of the many ways our patriarchal society objectifies women.
Created by Blake Gardner (photographer) and Jennifer DeRosa (stylist); the Sexist edition was inspired by Mattel’s release of their new line of Barbie dolls in 2016, in which the company took a wonderful step forward by creating dolls in a variety of shapes and sizes. This change was the answer to years of criticism that the classic Barbie represented an unattainable standard of beauty that influences women at a young age to view their looks in a negative way. the SEXIST edition takes that step to another, sometimes darker level, to illuminate the ways in which Kens would treat and influence Barbies if they were living in real world.
Jennifer Christina DeRosa is a Costume Designer for TV and Film. She has been passionate about women’s rights since she was old enough to understand the inequality and compromise that came along with her gender. This year however, a fire has been lit to point out how far we still have to go in the fight for equality. What better way to make her voice heard than with art.
Blake Gardner was an LA based photographer for 13 years. Though his career photographing artists and celebrities was financially rewarding, his busy schedule rarely left time for him to develop personal projects that he had longed to do. In 2015, he sold his home and closed up shop to take some time off to travel and reflect on what he’d like to do next.
While Blake was passing back through LA in 2016, he reached out to his long time friend and collaborator, Jennifer, about creating a series together that addressed issues they felt passionate about. Quickly, they began conceptualizing the various ways they could illustrate how women are treated as objects, and the creation of a parody “edition” of the Barbie icon was the clear choice.
These images are a reiteration of that which many in the feminist movement have been saying all along; Women are not treated or respected as equals, they are treated as objects to be controlled and exploited. These images represent only a small sample of the many demeaning situations that our patriarchal social system continues to define as normal and even acceptable. “Boys will be boys” and women are merely plastic dolls to play with.
It is our belief that feminist ideals are essential to the success of our society and with the social and political climate of recent years, the fight is far from over. We all need to do what we can, women and men, to dig our heals in and shine a light on that which has been accepted by the masses, and push humankind out of our comfort zones into a new era of respect and equality for all.
CLICK HERE to view all of the images from the project.