Barbie Doll Project: Beyonce & Jay Z “Black Barbie – Collectors Edition” Halloween Costumes

I have decided in the past few days to draw to a close the Instagram Post/Poster brief which has developed into a further range of promotional items surrounding the “what’s my name again?” concept as previously discussed, to begin working on the Barbie Doll brief and Social Media Wellbeing Campaign which I feel I need to begin researching and experimenting with.

This morning, upon browsing Instagram, came across this post by Beyonce, posted 15 hours early, just in time for Halloween Celebrations in the US. Upon reflection, I don’t know how it made me feel that Beyonce had beaten me to creating my life-size Barbie Doll boxes which I had intended to produce. In one way I was glad that she is in-tune enough with current issues regarding the ‘standards of beauty’ and the issues regarding racism and ‘”black beauty” as discussed rawly in Solange Knowles’, Beyonces’ sisters new album. However, on the other hand, my idea is different in that my boxes and models would reflect the contrast between ‘ideal’ and ‘real’ women, showing this through different forms of branding, and I had also envisioned the boxes to be floor length. In addition to these comments though, I do feel that Beyonce and Jay Z using this ‘costume’ to symbolise a message of diversity, beauty across all races, the ‘ideal’ beauty and the idea of the ‘perfect iconic’ couple as often seen blasted in today’s media.

I feel that Beyonce and Jay Z introducing this idea in this way highlights that my idea is a good and worthy idea of pursuing further, with this post in particular gaining 2.5m likes, therefore this alone hopefully will help hit home about these relevant and topical issues which echo current societal ideals and norms.

The production itself resonated with the idea of satire and parody also which I have been using throughout my experimental work so date, mocking the ideas noted above regarding beauty and standardisation. This visual made me think about the issues and points discussed in Mary F. Rogers, “Barbie Culture” in regards to the commercial rise of icons, and Naomi Wolfs, “Beauty Myth” in regards to this particular quote, which I felt resonated with this image and the secondary image which Beyonce is trying to portray to her daughter:

“A Mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually VACCINATES her daughter against low self-esteem. ”

I found this quote taken from ‘The Beauty Myth’ to be extremely powerful which this image in particular showcasing this explicitly through the concept carried out, and the use of her daughter looking up in admiration of those who LOVE themselves, and accept their bodies and appearance, opposed to those who manipulate and change their looks and identities to fit in with societal and cultural trends, norms and ideas. This also embeds the idea of “being black is beauty” and equality for her daughter at a young age, instilling her with good morals, beliefs and most importantly, self-confidence, self-love and self-awarity.

Furthermore, I feel this has become extremely relevant to a more recent blog post I have compiled focusing on Beauty Pageants for example, which I have discussed an interview on This Morning with a Mother, Sami Bushnell, whom fake tans her 3 year old daughter. I feel this is the opposite to what Beyonce is doing – one mother is encouraging ones self-awareness, whilst another is crushing it and infiltrating it as how to change to ‘be the most beautiful’ and claim the title. In a world where this is happening more and more, I think Beyonce targeting the ideas of Beauty Ideals and Standards, Identities and Self-awareness in a positive and proactive manner, and with my project hope to continue in this same vein.



Image Source


  • Satire
  • Ideal
  • Diversity
  • Beauty in all races and ethnicities
  • Mocking the ‘ideal’ Barbie and Ken image
  • Mocking beauty standards and ideals

Wolf, N. (1990). Quote. Available: Last Accessed: 1st November 2016.
Beyonce. (2016). Instagram Post. Available: Last accessed 1st November 2016.