After the success of Fallen Princesses, photographer Dina Goldstein worked on her next project entitled In The Dollhouse. Just as her Disney portraits were inspired by personal experience, this set of photographs were also inspired by real-life events.

“I started Fallen Princesses when my daughter, Jordan, was three years [old]. In The Dollhouse is just a progression of me following my two daughters: Jordan, now eight years, and Zoe, four years,” Dina shares. “Playing with dolls is a way for girls to role-play and pretend. I started thinking about the messages that they were receiving from their Ken and Barbie dolls.”

However, In The Dollhouse isn’t just a visual commentary on how Barbie “is an impossibly proportional doll” and how Ken is “so effeminate that he is barely recognizable.”

In The Dollhouse is my way of examining the concept of marriage and authenticity,” Dina says. “More than any other childhood construct, Barbie represents the concept that 'beauty is power' and necessary to attain happiness. However, when Ken, Barbie’s handsome but emasculated boyfriend, expresses his individuality, the value of beauty as an apex trait is exposed as a cheap, plastic facsimile.”

The series follows the iconic dolls's marriage in stages and ends with a decapitated Barbie, to which Dina says, “Just like so many Barbies that end up decapitated, so did mine! Why is this so common?”

As harsh as it sounds, her photographs do tell the truth, at least, figuratively. Dina looks upon friends who are wealthy, beautiful, and healthy and finds that they, too, are plagued with problems. “My main message is that this world is so complex and everyone has their own challenges to deal with. What might seem ‘perfect’ on the outside is most likely not.

Browse through the gallery to check out what goes on behind Barbie’s and Ken’s closed doors!

(All photos courtesy of Dina Goldstein)

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