Plastic Lives of Quiet Desperation

As a little girl, I was taught about happily ever after from fairy tales. And of course I believed in it whole-heartedly. As a matter of fact, I still believe that a form of it is possible… it’s just not quite what we were told when Mom and Dad read Cinderella to us or when they popped a copy of Beauty and the Beast into the VCR to keep the little ones quiet after a long day and a couple gin and tonics.

But it’s easy to see how one could become a tidge jaundiced about the whole concept. Divorce is a fact of life that many of us have seen first – or at least second – hand.

Well, photographer Dina Goldstein decided to explore marital malaise through the symbology of one of the most happily ever after couples of our times: Barbie and Ken.

The results range from the hilarious to the moderately disturbing, as Barbie and Ken deal with their mutual frustration and his growing confusion about his sexuality.

This is a dollhouse Ibsen himself would have hesitated to write about, with overtones of Edward D. Wood, Jr., or at least Glen or Glenda.

Note: Yes, I know that transvestitism is not the same as being gay. In fact, the majority of transvestites are straight. Gay men who cross dress are far more likely to be drag queens, which is a whole other ball of wax.

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