Monday, March 31, 2014

The Doll Project by Tiffany Gholar

Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Gholar

A Review of The Doll Project
By Tiffany Gholar

Using fashion dolls and her own vibrant digital photography, The Doll Project by Tiffany Gholar explores the abnormal quest for skeletal thinness that many young girls dangerously attempt to achieve.

The Doll Project illustrates some of the most drastic measures girls take to reach low body weights and reasons behind their erratic thinking and behaviors.  According to Gholar, there are both internal and external sources that birth and fuel the desire for thinness by any means necessary.  Many impressionable girls develop the desire to look like the unrealistically proportioned fashion dolls that often are their first companions.  Others aspire to look as gaunt as other females they idolize.  The problem is compounded by socially defined and too often accepted ideals of attractiveness, which include a high focus on twig thinness.

Gholar's graphic approach of exposing eating disorders and possible consequences affecting young girls culminates in an attempt to reverse negative body perceptions.  She affirms what everyone should know:   physical beauty is not isolated to one body type or single trait.  

Where to Buy:

The Kindle version of The Doll Project is available here.

Prints from The Doll Project as well as products, including T-shirts for adults and children, are available at Society6.

Author/Artist's website:




  1. Hmmm ... to comment or not to comment? Okay, I'm here so I'll comment.

    I grew up with fashion dolls, but I never thought that I should be shaped like them or dressed like them. They were dolls. I made the dolls perform as I chose. After my younger siblings became less willing to be - guided? directed? dolls replaced them in stories I wanted to tell. I have never known anyone who told me that she felt as if she should be shaped like a doll. However, I have had heard girls say that they wanted to be Naomi Campbell or an actress etc. And one of my sisters loathes Barbie - not because Barbie is thin - because she thought Barbie was "plastic" and "artificial."

    Of course, this is just my experience. The rage for thinness comes from many sources. I suppose dolls might be a source for some.

  2. Thanks D7ana for your comment. It is wonderful that you did not compare yourself with your childhood dolls as studies have shown most children do.

    I am sure that most little boys who play with muscle-bound action figures make similar body comparisons with some longing for the unrealistic muscles of their plastic playmates. Will this always result in body image issues? Heck no, but it might for some.

    I read an interesting article yesterday where a Mattel designer defends Barbie's unrealistic proportions by stating they (the proportions) make it easier for young girls to dress and undress Barbie. (Really, Mattel Designer?) I don't believe that more than I believe Mattel always had plans to make a #1 Black Barbie in 1959.

    Interestingly, the article concludes with this statement:
    "A 2006 University of Sussex study concludes that thin dolls like Barbie 'may damage girls’ body image, which would contribute to an increased risk of disordered eating and weight cycling.'" That statement includes a link to a PDF file of the Sussex study.

    The article can be read here. (


  3. My pleasure to comment, DBG! Thanks for drawing attention to this project.

    I appreciate that Ms. Gholar's work alludes to the existence of "gaunt" cultural icons some young girls idolize.


Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!