For all English-speaking visitors
United we stand, divided we fall
Thank you very much for all your support. Frankly speaking we have not expected such a wide foreign coverage and so many warm comments from other parts of the world. We were surprised to see all major news sites writing about Alyona and our movement.
First of all we would like to give you more details of this event which are hidden from you in the Russian sections of this site. This year the «Firebird production» decided to elect the Russian candidate for «Miss Universe» beauty pageant in an open vote poll via internet. The technological part of the open vote was performed by the leading Russian portal Rambler.ru. It is worth noting that it is widespread in Russia to use the words “open”, “democratic” and “liberal” in terms of everything with the “known” outcome. We could have given no attention to this contest as we do not pay any attention to thousands of beauty pageants for cats-n-dogs.
When one of us scrolled down the portfolios of the girls represented for the contest, he realized that he actually had no choice. When one is given a choice of one hundred lighters of the same size but of different colors, we prefer to use the matches. So we lit the match. One of the contestants did look different from all these very-long-legged and barbie-faced models with touched up photos. She was like a symbol of the Lady in a red dress opposed to the gray mass as seen in the first part of the legendary Matrix. She was a naturally looking girl and we decided to support her for the courage to compete with professional models. At the same time we decided to vote against the fake democracy and the speculations on our primary human emotions. So we sent our requests to hundreds of our icq and livejournal friends.
Within 17 hours Alyona became a leader in the vote poll with about 3,000 votes leaving her main rivals far behind. The organizers of the poll were shocked by the preliminary results. The matrix started to crack. There were a lot of “funny” things, e.g. the organizers reported that their HD drive was down on the voting server and there were sudden changes in an average score for Alyona. The next day we created a website and the “Stop barbie” foundation to keep the supporters aware of the situation around the contest. Also, we clarified our position by the means of this site. A lot of people supported us – among our supporters there were websites that published the information about us and the timely update of the events and also there were talented designers who created awesome pictures to support Alyona . However, not everything went smoothly, there were a lot of people who were against the movement and against Alyona personally leaving rude and unquotable comments in forums and discussions. Mostly those were Alyona’s rivals and it made us fight harder. For us it was a real struggle.
During those three days about 40,000 people joined us in the vote but we were really worried about the offline part of the vote poll – an sms vote – which followed the next week. Again we were really surprised by the number of the votes given to Alyona in the sms vote. In the quarter final she got dozens times more votes than her precedent contestants. Though the vote poll was suspended without any clarifications given. The next week Rambler.ru published the information about Alyona which disqualified her from the contest – she was under 18 and she did not match the regulations of the contest. The organizers gave her the Viewer’s Choice Award and she also got the money collected in the sms-vote in her favor. Also, the organizers admitted the strength of the internet community and the “Stop barbie” movement.
Having realized that we achieved the maximum we had expected and the girl from the Moscow suburb got her “15 minutes of glory”. Alyona became a real public person during the last days of the vote, her story was widely covered on the national television not mentioning numerous websites. The foundation which pointed out the serious problems of the society had a wide coverage as well. Taking into the account that Rambler lost beautifully, we decided to leave the stage as well…
The problems of the society are hidden much deeper than the mere creation of the beauty cult. The corporations force on us its own culture to maximize their own profit. We would like to quote Ron who left his comment in the guest book:
“For a long time I have been annoyed with and ashamed of corporate America and its progeny across the world. It’s a pity that the opinion and needs of the single person is ignored in favor of what the corporations force on us in order to generate the maximum profit for themselves. I think it’s great that so many people are willing to “buck” the system and vote for the ordinary person and not the surreal models that too many women aspire to emulate to their ultimate demise.”
That made us really happy that Ron understood the main idea of the movement so clearly. The corporations cultivate a consumer instinct in us. The manufactures are no longer competing for a price or quality – they fight for human souls and emotions. It scares that people try to create their uniqueness by purchasing the specific brands and products and not by expressing their personal inner world.
G. David from Seattle, Washington, writes:
“I don’t believe that the actual “Barbie” issue is as central to the excitement here as is Russia’s REACTION to what has happened. For 15 years now we in America have been rooting for Russia to evolve beyond the past and to find ways to enjoy the “freedom” that should exist now for most if not all Russians. This simple exercise in finding a cause and following your SENTIMENT to make a statement seems so closely tied with what any society should be allowed to do. We understand the seeming issue about the Barbie perception but it is far more important that Russians and everyone else have the CHOICE to pursue the “Barbie” look or to be content with any outward appearance. Russia! – We in America are on your side! What you are more than anything is a population of PEOPLE, of human beings, who are FREE to make CHOICES for yourselves! What else matters more than that?”
John Grazier from Pennsylvania, USA, writes:
“Unfortunately, I live in the center of a country which is being hijacked by a culture of avaricious advertising on every level from personal appearance to oligarchic political conspiracies for re-colonialization of the world for the benefit of rich Americans. I pray for all of us in these frightening times, and applaud the Russian people and individuals who speak out everywhere.”
The other reason why we called our movement “Stop barbie” is that when parents present a child with a named doll they give their child the standards of the society. From the early years there is a stereotype the girls wants to follow all her life. If you ask a child how she wants to look like the most evident answer will not be: “Like a mother or a father”, it will be: “Like a barbie”. The child plans to have a house like barbie’s, a mobile van like barbie’s, a car like barbie’s, a dog like barbie and, of course, a ken in her teenage years. And it is a real tragedy when all dreams do not come true, because the girls doesn’t have these perfectly curled blonde hair, navy blue eyes and these long legs to help her get everything that comes in a barbie package.
“Hello all – my second language is French, but today I wish it was Russian! I believe I speak for many Americans who have grown very skeptical and weary of the commercial culture, which unfortunately is now global. I have a daughter, and instead of playing with Barbie she takes Karate, plays sports, and, well, isn’t Barbie. Her favorite adult is Diana Taurasi (college basketball player), who isn’t barbie either.”
So this action is finished but the movement has just begun its way. We are still voting AGAINST:
- Fake looking beauties, emotions and smiles
- Imposed standards 35″-23″-35″ (in inches)/90-60-90 (in centimeters)
- Mass-media standards and cults imposed on us
- Brands and trademarks which are made into cult objects
- Imposed consumer instinct
- Speculations on the human emotions
- Corporate manipulations on the human souls
And we are voting FOR:
- Real people and individuals
- Unique personality
- Deep inner world of each person
- Courage to express yourself in every way
It is so good to be supported by you and we do think that we are in the beginning of the creation of a wider movement that can make our world a little bit better. It is surprising that the idea of this movement summarized in a couple of words has spread around the whole world by the means of internet, has caused such a positive feedback from you and has got so many supporters. It will definitely be not possible to make this via other offline media means.
Once again thank you so much for all your support and kind comments. We will try to prepare more information in English for you to update on the progress of the movement. If you are interested, please subscribe to the news of the movement.