TIME commissioned Japanese photographer Kenji Aoki to photograph Barbie for this week’s cover. Toymaker Mattel gave Barbie three new bodies—tall, petite and curvy to keep up with America’s changing beauty ideals. It’s the most dramatic shift in the iconic doll’s 57 year history. Aoki captured the changes in a series of photographs exclusively for TIME.
The dolls arrived in Aoki’s New York City studio after they were flown in with a stylist, from Mattel’s California headquarters for TIME’s shoot. He specializes in still life photography and is known for his masterful lighting. With his unique perspective, he finds beauty in every day objects and elevates them to art.