She’s divorced. She drinks wine and smokes weed. Sometimes she vomits, bleeds, and goes to the bathroom. She owns an arsenal of pink guns. She breastfeeds in public, has transgender friends, and frequently gives the finger. And she has antlers sprouting from her head. She’s nothing like a real Barbie.
Trophy Wife Barbie is the Instagram project by South African conceptual artist Annelies Hofmeyr. It started on the day of her divorce and documents her journey of self-discovery. In her first post, she wields a bloody sword and clutches her ex-husband’s decapitated head. The wall behind her is spattered with gore. “Yay! My divorce went through today!” her caption reads. She uses her personal Barbie just to explore gender issues and the modern female identity while highlighting the limitations of labels. The antlers are a physical representation of a label imposed on her: “The beauty of using Barbie iconography is that I’m able to circumvent censorship and talk about more challenging topics.”