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Squinting Through the Cellophane

Whether you'd like to admit to it or not you are contributing to the silencing of woman, but if you really must call us dolls, we shall be Baby Annabells' and cry and wail about it, until our batteries run out.

We'd like to thank a recent 'reviewer, who will here forth be named Mr "toys r us" - in honour of his fascination with dolls - for the following quotes...

"two plastic presenters"

"been cast from a mould"

"wrapped in cellophane"

"sold as Barbie dolls"

Fortunately we can just about see through our cellophane wrappers to see you are part of a movement that is tearing the vulnerable packaging of womans self esteem and worth everywhere. It is not enough that woman are airbrushed to look like robots, shaved to look like porcelain, dismembered across bill boards, stripped of our pores in beauty ads (woman? sweat? no!) and proportioned so we cannot even stand up (poor Barbie), but you must actually make a direct comparison to us and our plastic counterparts?!

You only have to walk into a night club to see we are being sold figurine style images of massive bug eyes adorned with daisy the cow lashes, hair so heavy it needs it's own seat and lips so plump they look like they should be pierced and placed in a hot dog bun. By looking act us you might see that we have probably been sucked into the trap, but we guess these are just fashion trends that will pass, but by objectifying us advertisers make us feed back into the market to achieve the look, it's a vicious cycle.

The Godfrey theory suggests that woman were bombarded with beauty campaigns in the 50's in order to pre- occupy themselves with their looks so that they didn't take men's jobs post war. This may seem a little extreme, but woman in jobs are still judged more on their looks than men and if power is at ALL measured by beauty (even if it is just a contributing factor) it still leaves us very very vulnerable. If a man and woman were selling you insurance in the same office by the same company and the man is ruddy faced and bursting out his creased shirt, he's 'obviously so busy with work he doesn't have time' but his female counterpart would possibly be deemed disorganised and unable to juggle her priorities.

Woman in advertising is a huge pool to wade in, but if we still accept slogans for Wonderbra that say "I can't cook but who cares" and "Your bourbon has a great body and fine character, I wish the same could be said for my girlfriend" then Mr Toys r us is clearly in the majority. It's just SO EASY to make us into commodities to demean us.

Thankfully though, there are whisperings and rumblings of hope being passed along the toy shelf and from a surprising camp, previously the home of ideals and immaculate image: fashion. Instead of often unwearable, impractical clothing this Autumn/Winter season shows models carrying handbags and coats draped over their arms as they walk down the catwalk. This may seem like a bit of a tenuous link, but its these left field changes, that will seep in and the 'real' woman will start to have her place. By 'real' I don't mean size, shape or profession, I mean actually functioning woman and not moving mannequins, this can only be a solid step in the right direction to the right representation. Next up, boobs, our boobs do not look like the ones we see plastered over the media. One is bigger than the other, they do not sit up under our chins and they only look like Barbies' when we are lying down (and holding them in place). Lauren Dodsworths honest 'Bare Reality; project depicts 100 images of womans breasts - each woman was then interviewed. What comes across alarmingly loudly is the deep rooted issue of the boobs we expect as young woman and the boobs we are given and how it effects sex, relationships, how we dress, how we hold ourselves, birth and everything in between. With these sort of campaigns, coupled with 'No More Page 3', we are telling young woman 'these are not real' and please don't think any less of yourself if you don't have these.

There are two issues here, the way we are objectified by other people and how the media forces us to be objectify our selves and as we get dizzy from think around it, we realise they are actually the same thing, one feeds the other. Please don't call us dolls Mr 'toys r us'', if you weren't judging us by our hair colour, you'd know Lisa lectures at the top UK drama school in the field you wants to work,has judged the awards you presumably wants to win (Total theatre awards) and has been in a physical theatre company at the National Studio. So maybe, just MAYBE, its easier for you to de-humanise us than to admit you need to up your game ;)

Whether you'd like to admit to it or not you are contributing to the silencing of woman, but if you really must call us dolls, we shall be Baby Annabells' and cry and wail about it, until our batteries run out.

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