Barbie has been around for 55 years sporting her tiny waist, her abnormally long legs and neck, and her feet that only fit into high heel stilettos. This doll portrays nothing of what women look like in reality.
Nickolay Lamm, an artist and researcher has designed and developed a doll, similar to Mattel’s Barbie, but with the average body proportions of a 19-year-old woman. Lamm is hoping to promote the idea that “average is beautiful.”
“I began this project just wondering what Barbie would look like as a normal person,” said Lamm.
The 25-year-old artist and researcher from Pittsburgh created his Lammily doll using measurements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The doll is shorter than Barbie with joints that bend and flat, adjustable, feet that fit into sneakers and high heels. Lamm thought this was important because, “No woman wears heels all day everyday.”
In less than a day, Lamm’s Kickstarter for the Lammily doll exceeded his $95,000 goal. The production of the doll is now in full swing and the product is expected to hit shelves nationwide in November of this year.
Jennifer Robinson, a Target representative, said the store supports equality and a healthy environment, but he doesn’t know if the doll will sell.
“Moms and grandmas don’t buy dolls for themselves,” said Robinson. “It is all about what little girls want. If Lamm’s doll has enough accessories and fun things to play with then girls will want it. It is that simple.”
Robinson explained how products have to catch the eye of the buyer. Barbie’s glitz and glam wasn’t for nothing.
“Little girls want to play and create something pretty, fun and exciting,” Robinson said.
Barbie has her fancy cars, her million outfits and her Barbie dream house.
“If Lammily has all of that too, there is no reason the doll wont sale,” Robinson continued.
While Lamm is hoping to promote a simple doll with a simple lifestyle, there is definitely an underlying hope.
“I have a 19-year-old cousin who is constantly trying to loose weight,” Lamm said. “Even I went through a phase in high school where all I wanted was to look good and have a six pack, but I ended up looking weird and too skinny.”
Lamm wants this doll to promote women with a healthy lifestyle and get rid of the idea that people have to be “ridiculously thin” to be beautiful.
As of today there are no studies that show Barbie and other unrealistically skinny dolls having a direct effect on girls developing eating disorders or unhealthy habits. BYU sports dietician Rachel Higginson explained that disorders are usually a result of traumatic experiences or difficult family relationships. However, she agrees with Lamm’s core idea and hope.
“The realistic body type the Lammily dolls represent is so good,” said Higginson. “While there will always be stereotyping it is great to see productions of a healthy looking doll.”
Higginson, who is currently raising a daughter who happens to love Barbies, commented on what she thought would actually happen with Lammily dolls.
“Honestly, I buy what my daughter wants,” Higginson said. “I thought I would have a hard time with Barbie because of my job and because of everything I feel that Barbie represents, but my daughter loves to play dress up, to do Barbie’s hair, and she just has to have every Barbie outfit. Bottom line is she loves the fantasy world that Barbie has. If the Lamm’s doll comes with a whole world of creation, like Barbie does, then it could really change some perspectives.”
Lammily dolls are off to a good start, the consensus is if this ‘average’ doll is fun to play with, then it will sell, and once it sells it could change world views of little girls everywhere.
For more information on the Lammily doll visit the website here.