Paper Doll and Live Girl with Balloons, acrylic on 24x30 gallery wrapped canvas

Paper Dolls and Live Girls

My paper dolls are live girls dressed up, made up, and dolled up. Beautiful dolls to tantalize the eye of the beholder and, of course, in my warped little world view, the beholder seldom gets past the beauty outside to behold the live girl inside. Live Girl is the soul of Paper Doll. I project live girls separately from their paper doll selves as tiny little figures who attempt to provide the guidance and direction we all require to move through life. They are our soul selves.

Our paper doll selves are structured for input most of which is based on what we look like to beholders. Live Girl has a tough job because she has to take a lot of input, some of it good, a lot of it crappy, to output the paper doll. Live Girl is often unhappy and disillusioned. Often, she will outright refuse to be dressed with cutouts and glam and everybody else’s ideal of beauty and girl and woman and who she is supposed to be but isn’t; she refuses to lend credibility to how a woman is supposed to look or act or pretend to be and instead, she becomes the CEO of her own company. Or, she becomes a scientist. Or, she contemplates the futility of it all. Or, she climbs a rope.

I portray Live Girl as a miniature because our true selves are frequently minimalized in deference to vacuous beauty.

When I started researching paper dolls as a series topic, I found it interesting that a search for the earliest known paper doll resulted in information relative to the history of manufacturing and I thought, hmm. Curious. It appears we don’t actually recognize the creation of an art form until it is manufactured. It’s possible, of course, that the actual date of creations and/or creator of creations is unknowable given a dependence on time, history and skills to record the existence of either. Kinda like the cart before the horse and, since we’re talking about the delicate qualities of paper, thin enough to cut and wrap, understandable. Hopefully, this bit of info about manufacturing will underscore the point I’m attempting to make in presenting Paper Dolls with Live Girls. In our world, women are not beautiful until we reinforce the cultural beliefs of our world-view society regarding the appearance of the ideal woman who must be made up and made over if she is to be considered beautiful. We must be shaped and dressed accordingly (beautiful or not) because we don’t exist until we are properly manufactured. Oh, and if we are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to become vintage we become highly sought-after collectibles.

It should be noted, however, that collectibles are most valued when they can be traded. Something to think about, yes?

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