Gonzo Barbie – Empire of Illusion

Reading Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion, Chapter 2, illusion of love, an investigation into the gonzo pornography world and one of the most disturbing pieces of journalism I’ve ever read. Gang bangs, torture, debasement of the most sickening kind. But hey, it’s just business. The Taliban stone women, we act outraged, spend billions trying to destroy them. And here in the land of the free? We dress girls up, shove shit in their mouths, make them plead for more, smile while they’re being tortured, gang bang them with multiple partners in multiple entry points, infect them, drug them, then dress them up with fake tits and travel them on the convention (prostitution) circuit. Annual US sales $10 billion. Worldwide porn industry sales are more than Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft combined. Leading money makers in the US, get this, AT & T and GM through their internet operations. The chapter led me to website with a page of porn stars who have killed themselves, the latest one on April 13. There they were, young blonds, blue eyes, and shiny skin, looking whacked. In the middle of this, I hear a strange sound from my daughter’s room. She comes to me with a Barbie in her hand, given to her by a friend earlier in the day. This Barbie has a key in her back. Turn it and a pink heart lights up in her chest and she chimes. Touch her left hand and she sings, “I feel connected, protected,” and on and on. She’s wearing a pink dress off the shoulder. Her breasts are typical Barbie – grossly out of proportion. Her eyes are blue, with yellow glitter and heavy make up. She’s smiling, her lips slightly parted. She looks like the dead porn girls. I don’t want her in my apartment. How do you tell a 7 year old that she can’t have this toy? She relinquishes the doll. Later that day, I do what most girls end up doing to Barbies, pulling their clothes off. I set her on a green plastic chair and made these pictures. All photos ©Nina Berman 2011, All Rights Reserved.

5 thoughts on “Gonzo Barbie – Empire of Illusion”

  1. Yesterday my 9 year old daughter went into the gargage and pulled out some of her old barbies to play with. We were hoping to get around to throwing them out so they were sort of in limbo. She had fun playing with them for a while but when she made plans for a friend of hers to come for a play date she had to put them back in the garage. She was too embarrassed for her friend to see she still liked playing with barbie.
    Great post Nina. Disturbing topic,

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