Multi-shape (read multi-cultural) Barbie!
So now the epitome of Western modern consumer culture- the ‘sign’ of signification itself is set to shed its size and color! Yes- Barbie is going multicultural!
It would come as shock, blasphemy, surprise to many according to their dispositions. But this actually is among the last of the Romans to fall. Thereby it joins a long list of
our cultural erstwhile cultural symbols which underwent radical transformation. From Big Mac to Pepsi, to MTV.
Post-Fordist capitalism doesn’t require crude forms of homogenization to suit its production revenue cycles. It has become flexible, customized to suit, replay and reinforce diverse cultures around the globe. It has become tolerant. Perhaps then, this is the moment of its break with ‘modernity’- where one gets chicken tikka Pizzas and Barbie in multiple sizes. This departure from Eurocentric symbols of ‘modern’ is important- but does it not energize multiple ‘traditions’ to mobilise tastes- a sort of multiple localized homogenizations instead of single universal imperial one?
Thus, it presents us with a dilemma- our challenge and provocation to multinational capital as an American hegemonic project stands redundant. Not that imperialism is passe. The hegemony has acclimatised itself, suited itself to all possible ‘dominant’ tastes. Markets and capital have truly gone global in all their local flavors. Thus, this is victory & valorization of capital- in all shapes, & sizes! Our rhetoric and arguments need to cognise it and come up with suitable provocations.
Originally published at modernitymusings.wordpress.com on January 29, 2016.