synthetic comforters

Blond and blue-eyed blow up dolls for the troops? Combat ready packed with their lunch. But what of the embarrassment if they were captured? And, was the iconic Barbie doll from Mattel based on a German post-war sex doll, an upwardly mobile and ambitious hooker named Lilli?  …”This standstill is utopia and the dialectical image therefore a dream image. Such an image is presented by the pure commodity: as fetish. Such an image are the arcades, which are both house and stars. Such an image is the prostitute, who is saleswoman and wares in one.” ( Walter Benjamin )

Donald Kuspit:There they are, a wondrous mix of narcissism and indifference -- the former symbolized by their masturbation, the latter by their inexpressive faces -- that Freud thought was the essence of femininity. (He once compared women to cats that lick themselves.) What did Christian Schad have in mind when he painted Two Girls (1928), his paean to timeless perversity? And what do these undistressed damsels have on their minds? They’re clearly liberated young ladies, as their fashionably bobbed hair and smug coolness suggests. Unembarrassed, they confront us, in all their exhibitionistic glory, even as their eyes evade ours, suggesting that while we can look we can’t touch, certainly not where they touch themselves. Unless, of course, they’re also inviting us to touch ourselves. Read More:

So in businees, so in art. As Robert Scholes has asserted: My argument, then, is that modernism was never a level playing field but was a gendered movement, driven by the anxieties and ambivalences of male artists and writers–anxieties and ambivalences that worked to bring the figure of the prostitute to the center of the modernist stage.I see Barbie as similar to Coca Cola. In The Essence of America, William Allen White once described Coke as the “sublimated essence of all America stands for.”And Coca-Cola’s long-time CEO , Robert Woodruff sought always to have it “within arm’s length of desire.” …

…ADOLF Hitler ordered blow-up dolls for his troops because so many caught sex diseases from prostitutes, The Sun reported today. Records revealed Nazi scientists developed the “synthetic comforters” for German soldiers who were regularly hustling in Paris. The problem was so bad it was keeping many of the troops from their frontline duties.

Kuspit:Capitalism and technology inform all of Dix’s paintings, appropriating human presence -- dehumanizing the body. Read More:

The World War Two project began in 1940 after SS chief Heinrich Himmler wrote, “The greatest danger in Paris is the widespread and uncontrolled presence of whores, picking up clients in bars, dance halls and other places. It is our duty to prevent soldiers from risking their health for the sake of a quick adventure.” Hitler personally approved the plan for the blonde and blue-eyed “gynoid” dolls, which were small enough to fit into a backpack. They were tested by soldiers in Nazi-occupied Jersey. Himmler was so impressed he ordered 50 for his own troops.Read More:

---Charlie Sorrel:But what about the partner left at home? Because these dolls are so human, waving goodbye to your man as he heads off to the cyber-brothel might not be so easy. The erotic part of sex, after all, occurs in the mind, and the only reason to use a full sized fake woman is to pretend you are with a real woman. In the mind of the John, is there a difference between the two? Is it the high-tech equivalent of getting up on the job, closing your eyes and pretending you are actually having sex with a celebrity (or as I have done in the past, drawing the face of Queen Elizabeth on a paper bag)? And if it is done illicitly, without the knowledge of your other half, is that deception is worse than the sex itself? Read More:


William Lee Adams: Designers approached Hungarian actress Kathe von Nagy and asked if they could model the silicone doll on her. She refused. That inspired them to leave the doll’s face blank: they reasoned that soldiers were more likely to use the “comforters” if they could impart their own fantasies on them. Just in case the men needed a bit of inspiration, the Nazis gave their creation blue eyes and blond hair….Author Graeme Donald uncovered the sex toy operation while researching his book Mussolini’s Barber, a compilation of the most bizarre stories in military history. He made the discovery while retracing the footsteps of Americans Ruth and Elliot Handler, the inventors of the Barbie doll. They created their iconic toy after visiting Germany in 1956 and buying the Bild Lilli doll—an adult novelty item sold in German barber shops and nightclubs.Read More:


Read More by Ashley Baylen:

The Phora: Marketed as a harmless plaything for 35 years, the all-American prom queen turns out to have been a foreign whore on the run. Somehow, the kind of girl your brother couldn’t take home to Mom became a role model for million of young girls. How did this unthinkable change occur? Picture a little girl on Long Island (or in Westchester) openly playing with a facsimile of the New York call girl her suburban father secretly visits during his lunch hours. If I am startled, shouldn’t middle America be horrified? More amazing is the thought that this whorish facsimile could be a gift from her parents. But that is exactly what has happened — and what continues to happen — in homes all over North America. Barbie has become one of the family, and nothing can stem this tide. Even the most committed feminists have been known to buy Barbie dolls for their daughters, as have fundamentalist Christians. She is everywhere, even in the enemy’s nursery.

Phora:As you can imagine, Lilli did not become Barbie overnight. Like Vivian, the awkward streetwalker in the movie "Pretty Woman" (who transmuted into a social swan), Lilli "cleaned up really nice." But her transformation from adult hussy to quasi-virtuous teenager was a painstaking miracle of art and science. Jack Ryan, a Mattel designer with a Yale engineering degree, worked on making the doll look less like a "German streetwalker" by changing the shape of her lips and redoing her face, says Lord. When the ex-hooker's body was recast, her incorrigible nipples were rubbed off with a fine Swiss file. Although she submitted to corporate mutilation, I do not regard Lilli as a victim of prudery -- or of capitalism. She was up to her own perverse tricks, an agent of her own future. Read More: image:

Is Barbie a sneaky trollop who hid the truth when it was convenient, revealing it now to keep up with the Zeitgeist? Or was she, perhaps, one of the great powers behind this cultural shift, helping to make prostitution more acceptable? During the 1980s, Western Publishing was marketing Barbie’s Dream Date, a board game that Lord says could easily be called The Hooker Game. Players find ways to make Ken spend “as much money as possible” before the clock strikes 12, then “tally their date and gift cards.” (Could this make her a role model for hookers who need to get their beauty sleep?) “What I objected to in this game was its covert prostitution,” Lord told me. In “Forever Barbie” she suggests that it’s contradictory to market Barbie’s Dream Date alongside We Girls Can Do Anything, a Barbie game in which girls strive to become doctors and designers….

---Dix:No classically ideal proportions here. Is Dix a misogynist, perhaps in response to the repulsive, ever-present prostitutes, evoking physical disease and social pathology? Read More:

…But the covert behavior makes perfect sense to me. Like many women who use their bodies to pay the rent, Barbie has had to have a straight cover. Almost every successful call girl I know has a customer who can only get it up for a part-time pro with a cute, respectable career — as an interior decorator or journalist, perhaps. A smart hooker’s entire Rolodex may be composed of guys who think they are helping out a Good Girl who has temporarily lost her way. In adult magazines, phone-sex ads entice jaded callers to chat with a “blonde coed,” as do the not-very-pristine stickers plastered strategically (next to the tow-truck stickers) on public phones. As I write this, one of the few remaining peepshows in New York’s Times Square area still attracts business with this neon message: “LIVE MODELS WORKING THEIR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE.” In the adult entertainment classifieds of many publications, men are regularly tempted by “non-professional” talent. Nobody would seek out, or feel good about paying, an amateur dentist. But a private stripper’s “amateur” status is often a selling point, as is a prostitute’s. Purity is a hot commodity in the sex industry.Read More:

---Robert Scholes:Charles Baudelaire was the first major literary figure to realize fully the cultural importance of prostitution and its resemblance to artistic production in modern, capitalistic Europe. As Susan Buck-Morss has pointed out (following Walter Benjamin), "Baudelaire makes modern, metropolitain prostitution 'one of the main objects of his poetry.' Not only is the whore the subject matter of his lyrical expression; she is the model for his own activity. The 'prostitution of the poet,' Baudelaire believed, was 'an unavoidable necessity.'" As Benjamin himself put it, "Baudelaire knew how things really stood for the literary man: As flâneur, he goes to the literary marketplace, supposedly to take a look at it, but already in reality to find a buyer" (B-M, 185). Benjamin also observed that the prostitute held a special fascination for the modern artist because she was subject and object in one, both the seller of flesh and the fleshly commodity that was sold. This parallel between the situations of artist and prostitute was both fascinating and troubling for male writers and artists. For painters in particular, it was complicated by the relationship between artist and model, which recapulates in certain respects the situation of client and prostitute, and indeed, many models were also the sexual objects of their painters.Read More:

Tracy Quan. Read More:

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