Over the past few months, many of us have been living the quarantine life, which has drastically changed the way we do things and the way we live our lives. That change sparked an idea for Tonya Ruiz, and now she, and her Quarantine Barbie Dolls have gone viral.
Ruiz is using Barbie dolls and her photography skills to show what people are really doing during the pandemic. She has been creating and photographing realistic Barbie scenes since October 2017 and posting the images on her Instagram account. Now thanks to the coronavirus, she has new scenes, showing how people are spending their time these days.
Creating a Quarantine Barbie Doll
Many people can relate to Ruiz’s Barbies because they depict their current situation. There’s “Quarantine Bread Baking Barbie,” full of flour and stocked with all of the ingredients needed to bake loaves upon loaves of bread. Ruiz says her husband actually inspired that Barbie since he’s been baking a lot at home.
Then you have “Quarantine Barbie-The Homeschool Mom Edition,” complete with the kids, snacks, and the volcano science project. There’s even a “Zoom Ken” who is dressed for the office on top, but in his heart-patterned boxers on the bottom. And don’t forget about the “Quarantine Quarreling Couple” — Barbie and Ken who depict the real-life arguing that can go into getting the household chores done.
“The dolls became my comedic commentary on the quarantine,” Ruiz tells Parentology.
She says she always wanted to make parody Barbies. Ruiz saw some funny Barbies on the Ellen show years ago, like hoarder Barbie and distracted driver Barbie. She also saw a couple of people posting some funny quarantine Barbies of their own. So, she decided to make a few that were going through the same things she was.
While it’s hard to choose her favorite among the various dolls she’s created, she tells Parentology that “What time is it? Barbie” is probably her favorite.
“It sums up my life in quarantine the best,” she says.
But not all of the Barbies are a parody on the quarantine. Ruiz has created pandemic heroes as well. There is one who is a health care worker and another who is a sanitation worker.
A History with Barbies
Ruiz is no stranger to Barbie’s world. She spent hours playing with the dolls as a child and even became a fashion model herself. But, she later packed up all her Barbies in a box and put them away.
She tells Insider, “I saw how my life had been affected by body-image issues, so I kind of lumped Barbie in the category of very unrealistic, unattainable bodies.”
But when her grandchildren found the box and asked to play with her vast collection, she took them out. Ruiz says Mattel has done a good job with updating their line to make the dolls more realistic, unlike the dolls of her day.
As for her realistic quarantine creations, Ruiz says she has no intention of selling them, despite numerous requests. But, she will continue creating and photographing them to give people a laugh during these tough times.