Nickolay Lamm, researcher and illustrator, introduced America to a new type of Barbie doll in the summer of 2013. This new Barbie, known as the Lammily doll, does not possess the typical super skinny, busty and nearly impossible standard of beauty but is one that shows young girls that average is not only beautiful but widely acceptable.
In order to create the Lammily doll Lamm printed a 3D model of a toy doll with the measurements of an average 19-year-old American woman. Lamm said his goal is to show that average is beautiful with a normal Barbie. His doll showcases realistic features of the average woman including typical human body proportions.
The Lammily doll is designed with articulated knees, elbows, feet and wrists. She also wears natural-looking makeup to accompany a more casual wardrobe complete with athletic gear, sneakers and even denim shorts.
Today is there no doll like the Lammily on the market, says Lamm. Most of the dolls on the market today look like fashion models and are garbed in funky outfits or dainty princess attire. Lamm said there is no reason that dolls cannot wear simple every day clothes that J. Crew or Gap might design. That is what he envisions for his Lammily doll.
The Lammily doll was created as an alternative to traditional Barbie as well as many of the other dolls that have failed to present a realistic image.
Traditional Barbie is set to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Michelle Chidoni, Mattel spokeswoman, said that Barbie is a legend and even as she is being criticized about her body and how she looks, posing for Sports Illustrated gives her and other legends like her the chance to celebrate what they have done and to own who they are. Chidoni said they are unapologetic.
Kim Culmone, Vice President of Barbie’s design for Mattel, said the doll’s body was never meant to be realistic. Barbie’s curves are notoriously unrealistic; she is proportioned to make playing easier and so girls could dress her and undress her with ease.
The Lammily doll is designed to appeal not only to children but also to parents, according to Lamm. Many of the kids that play with dolls just want to play but the whole idea of image was designed for the parents of these little girls. The design for Barbie may have been finalized with different intentions but the fact remains that the way Barbie is proportioned does affect the way young girls view themselves. The Lammily doll will give the kids the option to play with dolls that have a more realistic body shape; this can only be considered a good thing.
Lamm said even though the initial campaign for the doll was directed towards parents the future of the doll depends on young girls having a desire to play with the doll. A lot of research and time has been put into this effort to make a doll that daughters will love. Lammily is not just a doll with realistic proportions, more importantly she is a fun doll.
Lamm needs help covering the costs of manufacturing enough dolls to meet the minimum order necessary to get this project rolling. On March 5, a “crowdfunding” campaign was instituted to help raise finances for the Lammily doll. Lamm has consulted with the former Vice President of Manufacturing at Mattel, Robert Rambeau, who has offered his expertise and experience to help Lamm find a manufacturer that is highly qualified.
Nickolay Lamm, researcher and illustrator, introduced a revised version of the traditional Barbie known as the Lammily doll. This doll does not possess the typical super skinny, busty and nearly impossible standard of beauty instead it shows young girls that average is not only beautiful but also acceptable. Prototypes of the Lammily doll can be found on Lamm’s website along with prices for limited first editions of the new doll.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Photo Credit: Nickolay Lamm