1. Student artist Samantha Humphreys has depicted childhood Barbies as victims of domestic abuse.
The photo series are part of her “What If?” exhibit based on a larger theoretical question: “What if we were to teach our children about the harsh realities that face so many in life?”
2. The iconic Barbies are painted to appear bruised and battered.
3. Samantha wanted to use perfect dolls to raise issue with how children are shaped to view the world, and its darker, imperfect realities.
“I was interested in how, when we’re younger, we’re led to believe that everything is perfect and how as children we are quite rightly sheltered from the harsh realities of adulthood,” she says.
4. Other photos in the series explore subjects of insecurity, loneliness, illness and addiction.
7. In a statement to BuzzFeed, Samantha says her images are not meant to be shown to children, but to demonstrate their skewed perception of adulthood:
Clearly, we wouldn’t dream of exposing children to such things and my work is by no means intended to be used as an educational tool. But by using Barbie dolls, an iconic plaything that oozes perfection, I am demonstrating that life for some is by no means perfect.