Over the years there have been many arguments to do with the child toy Barbie and the unrealistic body ideal she portrays.
An American artist, Nickolay Lamm decided, due to his own negative attitude to his own body growing up, to create a ‘normal Barbie’, named Lammily, which represents an average BMI and body size.
The doll comes with a realistic wardrobe and stick-on acne, scars and stretch marks to combat the false ideals that dominate the children’s doll market.
He used a crowd-funding project and US government health data to make the brown-haired Lammily doll, which reflects what a Barbie doll would actually look like, if she had the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman’s body.
He also edited a video which shows how it’s body would change if she were made into the average barbie. The results are shocking.
Lammily’s instant popularity was largely driven by a concern for body image,” he said in a statement on his website. “I believe this issue is of great magnitude. I myself have lived through my share of insecurities. Back in high school, I starved myself and exercised to exhaustion to have a set of six-pack abs. After achieving my desired BMI, I looked and felt terrible. This experience taught me to keep things in perspective. Every one of our bodies is different, so we should not be aspiring to some idealized standard.
“When I look at current fashion dolls, I’m reminded of my experience in high school… I’m reminded that there are some things that are just a mirage and not worth emulating. Moreover, I’m reminded that there is beauty in embracing all the aspects of who you are, and in staying true to you.”
With the concept of the doll revolving around being true to you, Lammily also has an average wardrobe and accessories that reflect her many different facets – such as gardening or book-reading. The graphic designer has also created a series of realistic stickers which can be added to the doll, including cellulite, scars, moles, freckles, acne and the ability to blush.
Lamm aims to extend the Lammily doll in the future to include different ethnicities and different healthy body shapes, along with special edition toys based on inspirational role models from the world of sports, actors and world leaders. And of course, a line of male dolls.
Here are some links and videos to explore for yourself.