By: Max Creager ~Staff Writer~
Barbie dolls have been under scrutiny for a long time for what some critics say is an unrealistic presentation of beauty and anatomy for young girls. In 2014, graphic designer and artist Nickolay Lamm used 19-yearold female Americans’ average proportions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to create a side-by- side picture comparison between an average woman and Barbie.
“For my first project I showed how distorted fashion dolls are in relation to typical human body propositions, and this got me thinking what if fashion dolls were simply made off of standard female body measurements,” Lamm said.
After Lamm published the comparison, he received broad support from several news outlets as well as celebrity actress and musician Demi Lovato. Lamm claims that he received thousands of messages from parents asking where they could get dolls that looked like his realistic photo comparison.
In March 2014, 13,612 backers launched a crowdsourcing campaign and ordered 19,000 of Lamm’s dolls. By November the dolls had been manufactured and shipped across the U.S. Although the official name of the company is “Lammily,” many commentators simply called it “Real Barbie.”
“New trends in toy sales serve as fiscal evidence that children also want natural, realistic beauty — rather than unattainable ideals. Barbie, who has seen her share of criticism for being an anatomically impossible mutant, is losing her clout among girls and their parents. As people stopped buying Barbies, they crowdfunded an alternative to the tune of $500,000,” Laura Stampler, reporter at Time magazine, writes.
This year Lammily took its realistic-sized doll to a new level of reality by creating a $10 addition to the original doll called “Period Party.” The pack includes an educational pamphlet, one pair of panties to fit the Lammily doll, 18 reusable colored pads/liners, stickers and a calendar with dot stickers for tracking menstruation. Although the kit does not actually add any of the physiological by products of menstruation, Lammily says their main goal is to give parents and children another tool to talk about an inevitable taboo. The company released a video on Youtube called “Da Period Talk” to highlight the awkward and ineffective communication that parents often attempt with their pre-pubescent adolescents about their formative changes.
“When you look at the current fashion doll market you see it dominated by divas, princesses and mermaids. You also see a lot of different careers, which these dolls promote, and I applaud them for that. However, what about the real steps you must take to achieve your dreams? I believe that one of the hardest things in life is to find your own path, something that is your calling. But, to find this calling, you cannot just pretend, you have to actively engage in reality,” Lamm told the Huffington Post.
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