From: "Mary Ellen Elkins" <[log in to unmask]> 9:26 AM I want to suggest that the Barbie gestalt -- exaggerated breasts, hips,and feet within a realistic context -- works similarly to the surrealist gestalt, a form exceptional for its ability to focus the unconscious toward the exaggerated features and a form to which prepubescent children are particularly responsive. According to Nancy R Smith in _Art and Experience_, (Harvard U. Press) our prepubescent approach toward realism represents our first, tentative approach toward the external, objective reality that surrounds us. Smith states that this age group's progression toward realism (objective reality) is accompanied by periods of severe insecurity and ambivalence: the normal child at this age is on a threshold, moving from a world primarily concerned with her subjective experience (where she felt secure) toward the world of objective experience, and often finds herself in both places at once; the child is sensitive and self-doubtful about her ability to perceive, understand and imaginatively represent the reality of the external world; she is often frustrated and insecure, as well,in her attempts to discover new forms for her changing subjective experience and its place in that external world. According to Smith, surrealist form, as opposed to abstract form (child) or realist form (adult), has a special significance for this age group: surrealist form affords preadolescent children a potent means of expression to represent the ambiguity and constantly changing nature of their experience. Hence, for this age group, it is the most potent form for both the expression and perception of subjective content. In the surreal Barbie, we have the explicit exaggeration of the female sexual parts accompanied by the dimunition of the parts which signify mobility. This is targeted toward a group of girls who, in this "normal" phase of development, are ultrasensitive to surrealistic content.