Replace unrealistic body image of ‘Barbie’

By Tahlia Terhune, Columnist

Since 1959, Barbie has had a firm spot in the toy industry. According to Forbes, Barbie earns 20 percent of the revenue for the toy corporation Mattel.

But after decades of dominance in the realm of toys, the makers of Mattel Barbie finally have some competition — Lammily.

Artist Nickolay Lamm is sick of the unrealistic expectations Barbie poses to its consumers. He believes that Barbie, with her measurements that would be impossible for a real human, can create unachievable standards, particularly for young girls.

NBC News said Lamm created the new doll, called Lammily, based on the measurements of an average woman from the Center for Disease Control. Also in on the creation process is former vice president of manufacturing at Mattel, Robert Rambeau.

Lamm launched the project as a 3-D model online and quickly received a positive response. Lamm is in the process of raising money for his project. After posting a picture of his creation, he achieved his goal of $95,000 in donations roughly within 24 hours, according to New York Daily News. The doll should be going into production this November.

Lammily represents Barbie, but in a realistic way. Described as a sporty version of Barbie with believable proportions, Lammily is shorter and wears less makeup. To put it simply, the line’s motto is “average is beautiful.”

In response to the alternative Barbie, Lamm told TIME magazine, “If Barbie looks good as an average woman and even there’s a small chance of Barbie influencing young girls, why can’t we come out with an average sized doll?”

While Barbie has marked its spot as a must among the toy collection of young girls, the fact that she is unrealistic is inevitable. Rehabs.com reports if Barbie were a real woman, she could walk no further than two feet, could not lift anything due to the size of her wrists and her waist could only accommodate half of a liver.

“I think it’s [Lammily] more realistic and doesn’t give girls the idea of an ideal image that is impossible to achieve,” sophomore Sarah Davis said.

Those who oppose Lammily argue that defining average and normal for an individual is contrary to the goal of defying what societal standards should be. While girls should not be influenced to have unrealistic expectations, it is also problematic for a company to define what a normal body looks like.

This is an excellent point that acknowledges we need to break the stereotype of normal. The company’s motto, “average is beautiful,” poses a problem in and of itself. Whatever average may be is not beautiful — you are beautiful.

The first round of Lammily dolls will not be in stores as they will be exclusively available to those who have donated to support the project. Lamm hopes to one day expand production and sell Lammily dolls in stores.

 

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