‘Normal Barbie’ arrives – with stretch marks
While Dove has been lauded (and sometimes mocked) for its "Real Beauty" campaign that promotes a healthy body image, one fashion doll has similarly received a ton of attention this holiday season for being the first "Normal Barbie".
With the tag line, "Average is beautiful," Lammily is described as "the first fashion doll made according to typical human body proportions to promote realistic beauty standards" — at least typical for a 19 year old, according to the company’s website. Nickolay Lamm, a 26-year-old graphic designer, also gave the doll brown hair, less makeup, feet that allow her to stand, and comfortable canvas sneakers instead of stilettos.
Lammily (buyers are encouraged to name their doll themselves) started as an art project in July 2013 in which Mr. Lamm created an image of what Barbie would look like with average body proportions. Many requests from parents and girls arrived for such dolls. That inspired to a crowdfunding effort, which raised $501,000, exceeding a $95,000 goal.
The dolls cost $24.99. The company website, lammily.com, crashed for seven hours last Wednesday, Nov. 26, when they first went on sale.
"I want to show that reality is beautiful," Mr. Lamm told the Chicago Tribune. "I just think she’s really relatable."
Mattel, Barbie’s owner over the years, has addressed complaints around the lack of the doll’s diversity across ethnicities as well as the "girly" occupations Barbie has embraced that many claim discourage girls from pursuing science and math fields. But Mattel apparently hasn’t addressed the doll’s exaggerated body proportions.
Attention is also being given to Lammily’s optional sticker pack ($5.99) of freckles, acne, cellulite, moles, stitches, scars, bruises and scrapes. Other stickers include glasses, bandages and temporary tattoos.
In a blog post, Lammily said the stickers allow girls to customize their dolls but they also speak to the doll’s mission around realism. Many children, for instance, have scars that come from injuries and surgeries and become overly self-conscious about them. Other stickers point to other "deemed ‘imperfections’" in a society "fixated upon ideals of beauty and flawlessness."
Lammily states in its blog, "Ultimately, Lammily seeks to be true to you, and that’s why it’s so critical to embrace all of the elements that make us who we are."
- Why Lammily Marks Were Made – Lammily
- ‘Normal Barbie’ Lammily brings average body to holiday toy season – Chicago Tribune
- The New ‘Normal Barbie’ Comes With an Average Woman’s Proportions – and Cellulite-Sticker Accessories – Time
- Barbie Dethroned In NRF’s Top Toys Survey As Disney’s Frozen Takes The Crown – National Retail Federation
- Meet Lammily – the doll with normal body, spots and cellulite – The Guardian
How do you think girls and parents would respond to a realistically proportioned fashion doll? What do you think of the “imperfections” sticker marks set?