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child_friendly National Barbie-in-a-Blender Day

Freeculture.org, which is now known as Students for a Free Culture, created National Barbie-in-a-Blender Day to raise awareness about the need for freedom of expression, and to show unity with photographer and artist Tom Forsythe. In 1997, Forsythe created a series of 78 photos called "Food Chain Barbie," that had Barbies in blenders and next to other kitchen appliances. His goal was to talk about a serious message and convey it using a bit of humor. He took the photos as a critique of consumer culture and the objectification of women. The Mattel Corporation sued him in 1999, saying that he violated their copyright. After a series of appeals, Forsythe won his case and was awarded 1.8 million dollars of legal fees in 2004.

How to Observe

One way to celebrate could be to take pictures of Barbies next to small kitchen appliances such as blenders and share them online. You could take the name of the day literally too, and actually blend a Barbie in a blender, or watch videos of people doing so. You could also learn more about free culture groups, such as Creative Commons, or read Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig—who was one of the inspirations for Students for a Free Culture.

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