“Average is beautiful” is the motto for Lammily, the new alternative to the Barbie doll. Her body looks more realistic and healthy, and her measurements are actually those of an average 19-year-old American woman. She has a waist, hips, and she’s attempting to elbow her way into the cultural consciousness.
Creator Nickolay Lamm, a Pittsburgh-based artist and researcher, spent the last year working on various body image projects. He wanted to know what Barbie would look like as an average woman, which led to his “Normal Barbie” campaign. He created a 3D model based on measurements of an average adult woman, using data from the Center for Disease Control, then used a 3D printer to create the mold, and added clothes and packaging.
After his images went viral, parents began asking where they could find this doll. So he set out to make her a reality. Lamm recently set up a crowdfunding site to produce 5,000 Lammily dolls, and the goal of $95,000 was quickly reached, with a month still left in the funding cycle. You can pre-order a doll on the site.
This is coming just after Barbie was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary Swimsuit Issue, as part of an “unapologetic” campaign, a move many saw as bad marketing for both Sports Illustrated and Mattel. Lammily isn’t the first Barbie alternative, of course. Fast Company has a good history of the “anti-Barbies.”
It’s hard to tell just how much of a direct effect Barbie’s body has had on girls over the years, but earlier this year, Apple pulled a controversial “Barbie” plastic surgery app aimed at kids, which asked users to help sculpt her body via liposuction into something “slim and beautiful.”
Lamm told Fast Company that if those unrealistic dolls affect young girls’ body image at all, then changing the conversation is important:
“If there’s a very good chance like that, and if the average sized doll can actually look good, like Lammily does, let’s make it then. If there’s even a 10% chance that those dolls affect [body image], let’s make it.”
After 50 years, Barbie still has the same unrealistic body. Perhaps Lammily will finally break that mold.
H/T Fast Company | Screengrab via Nickolay Lamm/YouTube