Lammily: new doll aims to correct unrealistic expectations about body image
Barbie celebrated her 55th birthday this year, yet remains forever young. She starred on the cover of Sports Illustrated to mark the occasion, wearing a monochrome swimsuit that highlighted her trademark physique. Nevertheless, it might be time for Barbie to finally step down as the queen of children’s dolls, as there is a new girl in town – the “average is beautiful” Lammily.
Nickolay Lamm, a digital artist and designer from Pittsburgh, designed images of what he dubbed a “normal Barbie”, reflecting the proportions of real female bodies. Posed next to the original, this doll threw the physical differences into high relief. Unsurprisingly, the image went viral and, as a result, a prototype plastic figurine was created under the name of Lammily.
Barbie has been a little girl’s best friend since her inception; manufacturers Mattel claim: “Barbie’s body was never designed to be realistic” and that her primary function is to be dressed and undressed. However, Lamm believes there is a direct link between a young girl’s perception of beauty and the dolls she plays with.
Although her waist was expanded and her bust made smaller in 1998, when scaled up to human size, Barbie dolls still have unrealistic statistics of 36-18-33, compared with the typical 19-year-old girl’s 32-31-33 measurements. Lamm has now adapted the iconic toy’s tiny waist, ample breasts and long legs, to assemble a more proportionate figure, which will hopefully appeal to a young audience.
With the intention of changing the way people perceive the ideal body type, Lamm recently launched a fundraising site to help turn Lammily into a commercial product. His set target of $95,000 – enough to produce 5,000 dolls – was easily exceeded in less than 24 hours, as donations totalled $150,000. With the time limit for contributions still some way off, this amount is certain to increase significantly.
The Lammily doll is marketed as fit and strong; she wears casual, sporty clothes to represent the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Her feet are flat – not permanently built into high heels although still able to wear them – and she displays only a touch of make-up. Lamm stated: “I wanted to show that average is beautiful. It’s so that our girls can grow up to become happier, stronger women, truly confident and proud in their own bodies.”
Lammily will be available to purchase from November. For further information visit here.