Barbie plays Paris Hilton

A Utah artist's right to make naked Barbie photographs (okay, naked Barbie in a blender...naked tortilla wrapped and salsa covered Barbie in a casserole, baking in the oven) was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The matter was brought to 9th Circuit Court by Mattel after a lower court's decision that satirizing the Barbie was all right. Mattel feels that Tom Forsythe's images of naked Barbies being attacked by kitchen appliances "infringed on their copyrights and trademarks." The court of appeals said Barbies were "ripe for social comment," and Forsythe says the photographs express the "objectification of women" and "beauty myth." Gothamist bets Mattel would try to crack down on the little girls putting their Barbies and other dolls in weird sex situations if they could but considering that's what 99% of Barbie owners do, Mattel would eliminate their own market.

You can see some of Forsythe's Barbie art here. Of course, the most imaginative recent use of Barbie has been in a "safe for work" version of the Paris Hilton sex tape – that is, if naked Barbies are safe for work – from Millionaire Playboy.

Film director Todd Haynes made a film about Karen Carpenter's battle with anorexia, Superstar, using Barbies, but Richard Carpenter shut it down before Mattel got a chance to sink its teeth into it. See it here, via Illegal Art.