Heather Morris’ “Bruised Up Barbie”

Posted on September 06, 2011

Everyone’s talking about this. And the funny thing about blogging is, if you DON’T talk about what everyone else is talking about, people ask you “Why aren’t you talking about this?” We’d love to shut up and not pay it any attention at all, but then come the slight (and not-so-slight) accusations that silence = approval.

So. Let’s talk about it.


Heather Morris of “Glee” posed for photographer Tyler Shields for the above pictures, which immediately rocketed around the internet in an orgy of outrage. Shields told E! News: “In no way were we promoting domestic violence. We wanted to do a bruised-up Barbie shoot and that’s exactly what we did!”

Oh. Well then. That clears it all right up. That makes it completely different from the thousands of other images arising out of the decades-long tendency for the fashion, advertising, and entertainment industries to glamorize violence against women. And the iron prop totally doesn’t make anyone think of domestic violence. Pfft. As if! It’s Barbie violence!

What the fuck ever. It’s an old trope and any photographer who expresses any sort of incredulity about a backlash is lying through their teeth. Shields knew what he was doing (he’s done it plenty of times before, in fact).

Due to the controversy, Shields will be auctioning off the photos with all proceeds going to a “top domestic violence charity”. As we said, what the fuck ever. He got what he wanted out of it: publicity. And no photographer or model will ever look to this episode as a reason not to glamorize violence against women because the outrage will be short-lived and no one involved in the decisions that led to these pictures will suffer one bit in their careers for it. Some halfway house will get a couple thousand bucks out of it and that’s supposed to make it all okay.

[Photo Credit: tylershields.com]

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