For my alternative Barbie, I happened to think of the Tyra Banks character, Eve, who was basically a Barbie knockoff in the film. The move is called Life Size, and it showed on the Disney Channel as a made-for-TV film.
So in the movie, Tyra Banks embodied of what the Barbie doll looks like. In class we talked about how Barbie is the embodiment of feminine beauty and how her figure was flawless. I would say that using Tyra Banks as the life-size version of the doll points towards this. Essentially, Barbie = Supermodel.
I think the portrayal of Barbie in the movie, as a racially diverse, yet supermodel-esque figure, raises a few thoughts. The first is that we look at Barbie as supermodels are seen in various current reality shows. They must fit the tall, skinny, perfectly proportioned expectations of the movers and shakers of the industry. These people, who fit the physical expectations, are then thrust in the spotlight and have their figures plastered worldwide. I can see a relation to Barbie in this regard, as she has that “figure” that is perfectly proportioned and reproduced worldwide.
On the subject of race, I want to talk about how Barbie was never diverse herself, as we discussed in class, but her friends were. Just to tease this out, in the film the Tyra Banks character didn’t actually play Barbie, which I assume is due to copyright issues. Instead, she played Eve, a Barbie knockoff. So, in turn, associations with Barbie (i.e. Eve) played the racially diverse part, almost isolating Barbie from any racial tensions or potential to raise issues in the market. After all, Barbie is a commercial product with the goal of appealing to the masses. Who has the majority control of the market? I would say white males.