New Barbie-like doll uses real proportions to thwart unrealistic body images

in Uncategorized by

If Barbie were a real woman, she’d be a total freak. We’re talking giant, back-breaking boobs, an unthinkably thin waist the envy of every girl with an eating disorder and legs that could rival a giraffe. Yet for decades Barbie has been the epitome of beauty for little girls.

Alas, there is an alternative to set an example for your little princess this holiday season and it won’t send her running to the bathroom to purge her Christmas cookies. Meet Lammily. It’s a Barbie-like doll designed using the average teenage girl’s proportions. Placed next to the popular Mattel doll, Lammily looks gawky and maybe even a little pudgy.

Or does she?

Creator Nickolay Lamm launched a Kickstarter to crowdfund his idea to create a doll with realistic body proportions. Within days he had raised more than $100,000. Lamm took his new creation to an elementary school in Pittsburg to see how kids took to his idea.

A group of second grade students were handed both Barbie and Lammily and asked a series of questions about the dolls. What they had to say is a thing of beauty.

In a video, the children, mostly girls, are shown playing with the doll, stroking her hair, smiling and mostly ignoring the Barbie.

“I don’t have other dolls like this,” one said. “It looks real.”

“She’s not like other dolls,” said a little boy in a burgundy blazer and tie. “Like, not very thin.”

One girl said Lammily looked like her sister. When the girls were asked which girl looked most like them, every one picked Lammily over Barbie.

What’s more, the children all said they’d rather have Lammily for a gift than Barbie and when asked what kind of jobs the two might have, Lammily got things like computers and a teacher while one girl pointed out that Barbie “doesn’t look like she’d do any job.” Other girls said Barbie looked like she’d be a model, makeup artist or fashion designer.

“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,” Lamm wrote in a Huffington Post article. And Lamm is a he. Body-type issues are often associated with women and that’s part of the reason his doll is a girl.

“I’ve grown up alongside of my younger cousin. Now she is a 19-year-old competitive collegiate athlete and top student, a beautiful young woman and an inspirational person. All muscles, she used to call herself “fat.” She could only look “fat” if compared to exceptionally thin beauty standards,” he continued in the article.

Lammily is available to buy online. She’s $25 right now and comes with a button down shirt, a pair of shorts and white sneakers. There are seven other ensembles that can be picked up for anywhere between $17 and $27. Of course, Barbie clothes won’t fit Lammily.

Lamm says one piece of criticism he’s received about the doll is her name. He said it was created to represent his last name and the word family and encourages children who play with the doll to create their own name.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.