Recycling Barbie


arm I just discovered Margaux Lange‘s whimsical and slightly disturbing jewelry made of Barbie (and Ken) parts via a Cool Hunting post.  These darling pendants fashioned from torsos and boobs take me back to the third grade when my best friend Miriam and I spent enormous amounts of time telling each other raunchy stories, always with the main characters of Barbie and Ken.  We composed the stories during lunch, then used our dolls to act out the scenes at my apartment after school when I was FINALLY allowed to have a Barbie of my own.

At first, my capital F feminist mom didn’t want me to have a plastic idol to self-loathing and poor body image, but I managed to get around the ban when my dad’s best friend (king of the innapropriate comments and gifts) got me a Western Winkin’ Barbie.  She had a white bedazled cowboy hat and I could depress a button in her back that made one blue eylid shut.  Unfortunately, after a while, the winking eye ceased to reopen.  I think we even took her to the doll hospital, but alas, WWB ended up in the trash.  If only I’d known all the postpunkpostfeminist possibilities, I might have saved the doll to reuse the parts.


Images ripped from the artist’s site.

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11 Responses to “Recycling Barbie”

  1. goddessjaz Says:

    That arm necklace is hella creepy, but I like that eye ring! It was always fun to bump Barbie and Ken’s plastic genitals…good times. I can just picture Western’ Wink Barbie joining in the fun. She unfortunately conjures an image of Jon Benet Ramsey. Perhaps that’s why Ma Dukes wasn’t down with the Barbie girl movement.

  2. everydaytrash Says:

    Ha. I love bonding over the inappropriate things we made our Barbies do. Shockingly common among our generation.

  3. esther Says:

    It looks a bit scary, but very interesting…and, being upcycled, it gets even more interesting! I loved Barbies too, and my mom offered me a Ken, when I was little…how big was my surprise when I took off his underpants (yes! I was a very naughty curious little girl) and he didn’t have any manlyhood at all…which I fixed quickly, glue-ing a match to his private parts (which, thanks to myu inventivity, he had now…lol!!!)

  4. everydaytrash Says:

    I love it! Thanks for sharing, Esther! Very resourceful. I had a friend who was so mad Barbie didn’t look like her that she decided to make her a brunette by dunking her hair in chocolate mousse over and over until it no longer washed out.

  5. esther Says:

    hahahaha, that’s a great story too!!

  6. Liz Says:

    I love this jewelry …don’t get me wrong. But, where on earth does one find all these old barbies in order to make this jewelry??

  7. Margot Says:

    Barbie, Ken, and various knock offs still populate our thrift stores. They are thinning out now that Mattel seems to be slowly abandoning the lovely pair. BTW, I am looking to recycle (unload) a fairly large collection of almost new and definitely used dolls of this type. My Barbie fever has passed but it would hurt just to put them out on the street. Suggestions?

  8. everydaytrash Says:

    Oooh, excellent question. I hope others have creative ideas!

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