In a society that has unrealistic and limited perceptions of what a female “should” look like, the idea of creating a “normal Barbie” doll to sell in the toy market could broaden the standards of beauty. A Pittsburg-based artist Nikolay Lamm astounded the public when he showcased his computer renditions of a doll that was created in the form of an average teenage woman based on measurements gathered by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. He decided to bring his concept into fruition by raising $95,000 through crowd funding. Lamm recognized that the toy market was missing a doll with a realistic likeness of the “everyday” female and so far his idea has amassed positive reactions internationally for his “normal Barbie” doll initiative.
The “Lammily” doll’s tagline “Average is beautiful” is a an uplifting message to young girls who are dangerously conditioned from infancy to falsely believe that there self-worth is correlated to measure up to a superficial image of beauty. Lamm’s dolls are not even on the market yet, but it has been proven that his creation will inevitably have mass appeal. He has been besieged with media and press attention and parents from all over the world have praised him for conceiving a doll that does not support eating disorders and low self-esteem. The “Lammily” doll is an alternative to the ubiquitous Barbie doll and is designed to appeal to both parents and children. Lamm not only wants the dolls to have a practical appearance but also wants the dolls to be fun to play with. He plans to broaden the standards of beauty by having everything from packaging, ad campaigns and online interactive worlds designed to attract kids to his “normal Barbie” doll.
Aside from media and consumer interest, Lamm’s doll project has also attracted the attention of the toy industry. Robert Rambeau, former vice president of manufacturing of Mattel is assisting Lamm on finding high quality manufacturers that will produce his doll line. Mattel will focus their attention on the “Lammily” dolls when they debut on store shelves since Barbie sales have been declining. Since Lamm introduced his “normal Barbie” idea to the world Mattel insiders have defended the iconic Barbie doll. Kim Culmone, Mattel’s vice president of Barbie design stated that Barbie was designed for girls to dress and undress easily. Time magazine contributor, Charlotte Alter claimed that Barbie was far from being a bad role model compared to other doll lines like Bratz and Monster High. She added that Barbie has had over 150 occupations and owns her own house and car. Yes that’s admirable, however a professional career and home and car ownership are attainable things by way of education and hard work. It is her body measurements that are far-fetched and are only “real” in comic books and cartoons. Health experts claimed that if Barbie was a real woman she would stand six feet tall and weigh in at about 100 pounds, in reality she would look like a walking skeleton.
On Wednesday Lamm has launched his crowd funding webpage, Lammily.com to fund his highly anticipated doll line. The minimum donation is set at one dollar and a donation of $17 dollars will get a person a “Lammily” doll of their own later this year. As of late he has exceed his $95,000 goal of funding by 52 percent. Lamm’s doll line will help encourage girls to be happy with who they are and make them realize that the “perfect” body image is the one they already have. Even though Lamm is on the right direction of promoting a healthy body image among young girls it will take more than a “normal Barbie” doll to broaden society’s standards of beauty.
By Isriya Kendrick