Though the plus-size Barbie was not widely accepted, Barbie is getting another makeover. This time, she will not have proportions to either extreme. Nickolay Lamm is a researcher and artist who created a 3D-printed Barbie style doll that is based on the average-sized 19-year old woman. Now he is trying to make the new line of dolls available to little girls everywhere. The one missing piece is the funding he needs to see the project through.
Aside from being average-sized, the dolls will have moveable joints, minimal makeup, a natural look and a casual wardrobe that includes sneakers, shorts and other active-wear.
Named Lammily, the doll with average proportions is designed to appeal to both kids and their parents. The slogan for the campaign is, “Average is Beautiful.”
The problem with the traditional Barbie doll is that the proportions are not accurate and create problems with body image, set unrealistic expectations and result in women and girls going to extreme measures to achieve the desired look. The fact that Barbie was recently featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition shows that the doll is portrayed as a role model. Proving the point, Ukrainian model, Valeria Lukyanova, recently made the news as the “Human Barbie” and vows to live on only air and sun to look more like the doll.
Plus-sized dolls have also sparked a controversy. Supporters say that it would give girls an opportunity to play with dolls of various sizes, rather than just skinny ones. Opponents of the doll with a triple chin and larger proportions claim that the doll is “unhealthy.” Consumers want healthy dolls, but there are no other options on the market at this time.
Lamm’s project began in May 2013, when he worked on a series of photo-shopped Barbie images to show her natural beauty by stripping her of her makeup. Mattel was not supportive of the all natural doll though. Lamm started his own vision for a line of dolls with a more natural look and realistic, average-sized features.
The dolls are 10.72 inches tall, just shy of the traditional Barbie dolls. The actual measurements were taken from averages of 19-year old girls on the CDC website. At the moment, the new doll is only available in a 3D prototype. Robert Rambeau, Mattell’s former Vice President of manufacturing is helping Lamm choose an appropriate manufacturer. All that is left at this point is to raise enough funds to make the average-sized dolls a reality.
Lamm had created a crowd-funding website that is asking for donations. His goal is to raise $95,000. Though it is a hefty amount of money, he also hopes to gain the attention of stars like Demi Luvato who have struggled with their body image and would be willing to promote the average-sized dolls.
Once funding is achieved, it is full steam ahead for the production of the average-sized Barbie alternatives, which Lamm expects to be ready in July. The healthy doll with more moveable parts and more realistic proportions would allow girls to play glitz, glam or unrealistic expectations.
Editorial by Tracy Rose