Russian Barbie Enthusiast Finds Reflection in Hollywood Film
Russian collector Tatiana Tuzova, who possesses a staggering collection of 12,000 Barbie dolls, watched the Hollywood movie inspired by her beloved icon with immense anticipation. The film, centered around the character portrayed by Margot Robbie, resonated deeply with Tuzova, who resides in both a realm of enchanting dolls and a reality that's far less perfect.
Comparing her own existence to the fantasy depicted in the movie's Barbie Land, Tuzova spoke about the connection she feels with the character. "To some extent, this is my world as well. And I even recognized myself in the film character a little bit, because I also feel sad when I come back to grey reality," she shared with Reuters. "I want everything in the real world to be as bright, beautiful, and glamorous (as Barbie Land). But when you're out in the real world, there are so many things missing."
Amidst Western sanctions related to Ukraine, Russia is experiencing a delayed introduction to the Barbie phenomenon. The movie isn't officially available for distribution, but select cinemas are planning to navigate this hurdle by screening a digital version "for free," alongside a shorter Russian film in a double bill format.
Tuzova has contributed 300 of her cherished dolls for display during an unofficial premiere of the movie in Moscow on September 9. While she had initially hoped to experience the film for the first time on the big screen, she reluctantly viewed a pirated version to fulfill media requests for her reactions.
Her profound fascination with Barbie traces back to her childhood. "I think Barbie is a role model. Her slogan is 'You can be anything.' I looked at her and understood that I could be anything as well," Tuzova revealed during an interview in her pink-themed apartment, where she sported an enormous bow in her hair.
In her living space, one wall is adorned with hundreds of Barbies, each preserved in its original box to maintain its value. Tuzova opened up about her childhood, sharing that her father passed away when she was just six months old, leaving her with very little. She resolved to attain everything she didn't have. "And I decided that I would have everything. And everything will be pink."
One aspect of the movie that deeply resonated with her was how the Barbie protagonist retained her authenticity when transitioning from her fantasy world into the real one. "She remained herself: she didn't put on weight, didn't dye her hair brunette. She just adapted, let's say, to the real world - as, in general, I did."