Finally: a Barbie Doll with Average Proportions!

Via Heather Grimes
on Apr 7, 2014
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lammily

Felephant reads:

> Image: Indian Barbie.
Tina Fey’s prayer for her Daughter.
> Old Barbie: Every body gets Old.
Girl Gone: the Aftermath of Mothering. 

These are the words of designer Nickolay Lamm, who created a “Normal Barbie” that he calls Lammily, using the average proportions of a 19-year-old woman.

He reached his goal—and well beyond!—through Crowdfunder in under 24 hours. The masses were clearly ready for and welcoming Lammily with open arms.

The following are some of Lamm’s designs comparing the original Barbie with a “Normal Barbie.”

bb compare

I love the booty in this one! I know it from the reflection in my own mirror.

And the comparison illustrates how alien-teeny the original Barbie’s feel look.

bb compare 2

Journalist Nina Golgowski wrote in the Daily Mail:

If Barbie was a real woman she’d be forced to walk on all fours and would be physically incapable of lifting her over-sized head – perhaps a far cry from what the designers of Mattel envisioned. Her 16-inch waist would also be four inches thinner than her head, leaving room for only half a liver and a few inches of intestine. Like her fragile 3.5 inch wrists, her 6-inch ankles would prevent her from heavy lifting. Then, as far as holding up her entire body – despite so much of it missing – it’d be an entirely impossible feat requiring her to walk on all fours.

barbie imgur

Even CNN got their hands on reporting this:

This is the kind of news I will hear about then spend a week screaming from the social networking mountaintops.

I just ordered a Lammily doll for my daughter. For more information about masterind Nickolay Lamm, visit his website.

 

Relephant:

Marketing Yoga Without a Hot Barbie Body: Challenges & Opportunities.

> Does Barbie influence children? Yes: Barbie Exposure May Limit Girls’ Career Imagination: Girls who played with dolls were then asked about future careers. Those who played with Barbie more likely to envision traditional pink-collar jobs than were girls who played with Mrs. Potato Head.  (scientificamerican.com)

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Editor: Renée Picard

Photos: Nickolay Lamm / Lammily / imgur

Bonus: What if Fashion Dolls Were Made Using Standard Human Body Proportions?

How to love yourself exactly as you are:

460,116 views

About Heather Grimes

Heather is a full-time mama to her five-year-old daughter, Opal. She's also a part-time massage therapist to a variety of lovely folks, with a focus on old ladies. In the gaps, she writes, sews, reads, roller skates, falls, writes more, walks and relaxes with her awesome friends and husband. She also loves to tell stories on stage. You can find her at hcgrimes.org. You can also check out her—now, inactive—blog at: thegrimesfamilychronicles.blogspot.com.

Comments

43 Responses to “Finally: a Barbie Doll with Average Proportions!”

  1. Anonymouse says:

    Man… that new barbie has one nice ass!

  2. heather grimes says:

    No doubt!

  3. JM says:

    The Barbie up close cracked me up.

    dude its a doll.

    Is there some kind of law that states dolls have to be to scale ?

    IS ANYONE IN AN UPROAR THAT WITH NO VAGINAL OPENING THERE’S NO WAY BARBIE COULD HAVE EVER GIVEN BIRTH TO HER DAUGHTERS ?

    What about cabbage patch kids?

    with no necks and fat torsos There’s no way their limbs could support them.

    They’re hunks of plastic made to look human enough that kids play with them.

    If Barbie teaches girls what the ideal of beauty is…

    Why is no one upset that fat Barbie is totally gorgeous by American beauty myth standards and sends the message that normal looking girls are ugly?

    why doesn’t barbie have a big Armenian nose?

  4. clb says:

    so i hope everyone knows that the american average is :…. FAT. yes America, we on average are obese. so considering that we are making an average doll, we are allowing the average to rise and then to allow obese people be normal. i'm not saying that the original barbie is what women should be, but what I AM saying is that we cannot base a doll off of the average, because the american average is FAT. just let barbie be barbie as she's been for 55 years. i grew up with barbie, and guess what, HER BODY DIDN'T DESTROY MY PSYCHE.

  5. bessy says:

    the problem is though that this is an unobtainable ideal of beauty. it's simply not physically possible to have this kind of body (flawless skin, pretty hair, long legs, skinny, little waste AND big butt/boobs) unless you get plastic surgery and stuff
    girls actually try to look like that by starving themselves and covering their faces with makeup to look perfect with no blemishes.
    this doll they created is not supposed to be FAT barbie… it's supposed to be a normal girl. because believe it or not, that is the average body type. forget what you see on tv… if you saw normal everyday women's figures with no clothes on…you would realize they do not resemble barbie. this model, i admit, looks fat, but that's JUST because we're so used to seeing a skinny/tall barbie. in reality, normal bodies resemble the one on this page.

  6. Gabbi says:

    This is friggin ridiculous…Just like those ‘real women have curves’ campaigns that uphold thick girls as the epitome of health and “normalcy” and crucify thinner figured ladies for being mentally twisted victims of eating disorders and society’s unrealistic ideologies of beauty. I’m a size 1, have a natural DD chest , and eat healthy meals (and my share of not so healthy guilty pleasure meals like the occasional greasy burger or pint of ice cream). My figure looks more like traditional Barbie than this Lammily Doll, and I am a successful bi-ped, by the way 😛 Everyone – male or female – come in different shapes and sizes. Dolls are dolls!! They are made for fantasy and make believe!! They don’t come in boxes pontificating that if you’re not thin, pug nosed, and bleach blonde than your not beautiful. Little girls don’t have breasts either, but no one is condemning that Barbie has a nice rack. They are toys for fantasizing about the fun and freedom of adulthood. I’m pretty sure no little girl grows up to be a damaged woman because she doesn’t end up living in Barbie’s mansion, driving Barbie’s pink convertible, training dolphins or flying to the moon. Such bullsh*t…

  7. Gabbi says:

    ⬆️ Pardon all of my grammatical typos – than instead of then & your instead of you’re (I hate grammar errors lol) – typing rapidly on my phone here…this article just irked me so much! No disrespect to the author at all – it was well written – I just do not agree with the opinion being expressed here…

  8. Christopher says:

    A child's size 3 foot is equivalent to a Womens 5 in standard U.S. shoe sizing. Small, but not unheard of.

  9. Sonia says:

    This is Barbie. A doll. A toy for CHILDREN to play with and grow out of by their teen years. I do not undestand what all the fuss is about…. Children aren’t aware of what sexual means, sexism, feninism or body issues unless their PARENTS expose them to their opinions about body types, shapes, diets and fuss over other women. Sure, Barbie is an unrealistic representation of a woman… But it’s been around for decades, it’s fun and it’s a toy. The real issues lies with parents, sexef up commercials and music videos along with celebrity magazines.

  10. anonymous says:

    I think the so-called "average" barbie is hotter than the other anorexic one. Although, I like my women kinda meaty anyway.

  11. FATISNOTNORMAL says:

    Why the heck do we need a "Average" looking Barbie. Not all freakin women are average. Only those who are "Average" care about this crap. Don't blame it on society and little girls having to try and reach an unobtainable ideal of beauty. It's not unobtainable! Being healthy and fit is not bad. Obesity is not normal and okay. If you think it scars girls and teaches them that skinny is the normal is bad then you are wrong. Teaching them that being big and with so call "curves" is wrong. How about you raise you kids to love themselves and to live life happy and healthy. Are super Hero toys teaching boys that they have to be fit to be an Hero? Oh wait we better start making Spiderman and Batman on the chunky side to fat little boys will feel better for themselves. So stupid!

  12. a nony mouse says:

    Logic error: Average is beautiful.

    Beautiful is remarkable.
    Average is not remarkable.
    Therefore beautiful is not average.

    However beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  13. Holly Day says:

    This doll is beyond ridiculous. Who on Earth decided that dolls would dictate fashion and silhouette trends? This is beyond my understanding.

    I played with Barbies all my childhood, loved those dolls but never wanted to look like them. I'm a brunette, with dark blue eyes and curves… Barbie didn't affect me. Those that fall for the doll's silhouette should consult a psychiatrist and not an aesthetic surgeon.

  14. Ella says:

    I'm sorry but anyone stating that this doll isn't damaging certain children are clearly uneducated. Learn some facts. Have you not seen the rise in eating disorders and body dysmorphia among children so young they don't even understand why they want to be so thin with big boobs, they over exercise and don't eat in order to obtain some kind of socially ideal but completely unrealistic physical goals. They may not at tat age understand sexuality but they certainly think about what they look like.
    And to the people who have never had issues from having a Barbie or have a similar body to Barbie (which is physically impossible and not everyone's ideal.) well done, great for you. But remember not everyone is like you or as 'strong' as you, everyone is different you can't generalize from your own experiences.
    And to the people stating the new Barbie is 'meaty' or 'fat' remember, she certainly wouldn't be considered that in the street. This is just more proof that because of the comparison between the two it is warping people's perceptions of what is actually normal. And yes if they used the average it would be hugely overweight.
    It's not just the doll it's the medias perception of perfection along with unattainable beauty that is portrayed by the media, this in effect combined not only enhances the disorders previously stated but can lead to depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. This whole process is damaging to many girls and boys.
    Just read that someone's blaming the parents alone which is hilarious. Yes they play a small part but in truth do you really think they have control of the images they see on pin boards in the streets? On tv adverts? They have barely any control over what the child see's, the best they can do is not add to make a child susceptible to this by buying them a physically impossible version of 'perfection'.

  15. things your way says:

    I couldn't agree with you more 🙂

  16. a nony mouse says:

    @Ella:

    “Where would I find enough leather
    To cover the entire surface of the earth?
    But with leather soles beneath my feet,
    It’s as if the whole world has been covered.”

    ― Śāntideva

    Strength is something that one can learn and teach. Changing the world to cocoon everyone against any possible fear they might conjure for themselves is self-defeating. Just as special effects in movies have improved, expect surgery, genetic selection, implants and brain modifying chemistry to make the "average" human being feel more and more inadequate as the century progresses. Better to train your children to not care than to try to shield them.

  17. Elephant says:

    I also totally disagree.
    What about G.I.Joe creating unrealistic male role models? Well boys although would love to have abs somehow they are no obsessed with the idea. The only reason they like them is because girls love them. Once again the female's psychotic obsession over unrealistic goals for her partner as well as for her self comes into play here. An average male with the body of a fitness mode more often than not is perfectly happy with himself as the one looking like a shaved bear (some even unshaved). And they both lead equally happy lives without custom made dolls. One could argue that "The Rock" can easily disprove what should be "anatomically incorrect" about a male's physique. And I know a number of girls that resemble the anatomically incorrect barbie a hell of a lot closer than the average "Barbara".
    If you lack in parenting skills and leave it to commercials and magazines that are interpreted by a five year old's mind to do the job, please don't blame the doll. It's not barbie that made you daughter into a sorority b**ch. Sorry, its the truth.
    Guess who else is "anatomically incorrect"? Legos and ragdolls, yet we grew up without the obsession to be rectangular or dress in rags. Do your job parents, don't blame barbie. Or video games for that matter.

  18. Being ridiculously skinny like "normal" Barbie isn't exactly healthy, either. You don't know why people are big.Granted, there are people who are big because of their own faults, but there are people, including children, who have medical conditions that cause weight issues or medications they need that cause weight gain, like steroids. I had to laugh at your comment because you say don't blame society, yet you are making judgments on something where you don't even know the people you're complaining about. BTW, boys do have heavy super heroes, like the blob.

  19. Shawna says:

    All I have to say is.. I know my daughter is going to be pissed when this Barbie only has one outfit because her taller thinner barbies are smaller than the new one… Sounds more like a way to get me to spend more money.. Body image will be an issue for some people with or without a new doll.. Just like some have an issue with smoking.. Even without cartoon Joe camel

  20. Normal is not normal says:

    Ok I have to comment on this because guess what?! Just because someone is "skinny" or "underweight" doesn't mean they do not eat, it doesn't mean they are anorexic or bulimic or whatever someone has concocked out of jealousy of why I am the way that I am. It is infuriating to the core I think more on the "thinner" person's point of view. I have been ridiculed my whole life for being "too thin" asked how much I weighed, if I ate etc. and I have never had a body image issue until society was trying to make me believe there was something wrong with me. I had what I like to call and eating disorder in reverse. I couldn't leave the house without someone commenting on my weight it was disturbing. I went to a nutritionist and I went to the gym to gain muscle mass. I was working in the other direction. I found yoga that way and yoga taught me to love myself as is. All of this crap infuriates me. No one is "normal" and people need to stop using that word! We are all different. People need to look at themselves. Parents need to parent and tell their children that dolls are pretend. Stop judging others body weight damn it!

  21. elephantjournal says:

    Hi there! Thanks for your feedback. We appreciate that this is a sensitive topic and that there is no real 'ideal' body type. But proportionally Barbie is unrealistic. The article is talking more about overall proportion, rather than specifically fat or thin. ~ Ed.

  22. LT says:

    i'm sorry but i played with barbies my entire life and never had unrealistic ideas of what adult women should look like. i never watched tv and saw a commercial with a skinny, scantily clad model and judged my own looks based on the model's. i never wore a bikini or an above the knee skirt and felt uncomfortable, or even "girly" for that matter, because "bikinis and short skirts oversexualize little girls". you know why? because my mother raised me to be independent and never proposed the "ideology" that there is a certain way women should look. she raised me to not give a shit and to form my own opinions and ideas. this is all about parenting and who children are surrounded by when they are growing up; it is not about the media, not about clothing, and certainly not about the way a child's toy looks. if a mother is self-conscious and puts emphasis on looks and appearance, her child will do the same. this whole "real women have curves" and thin versus heavy thing has got to stop. it's ridiculous. judge people on their character period. if you let the media persuade your thoughts, you're doing it wrong.

  23. Zeida says:

    Barbies are Barbies, they doesnt have to look normal, also, there are as many interpretations of normal as races and cultures and religions are in this world. Anyway, I think girls and boys have to know that eating healthy and doing exercise are the best ways to be healthy and that the great looking comes
    along. They also have to know that parents and family will love them no matter how they look skinny or fatty, that has nothing to do with beying good persons.
    So, be happy playing with your barbies little girls! Mommy takes care of the worring stuff.

  24. elephantjournal says:

    “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” ~ Bradley Miller

    In other words, what we learn when we’re children matters. And we learn through play.

  25. elephantjournal says:

    Sure. But everything affects everything. As above,

    “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” ~ Bradley Miller

    In other words, what we learn when we’re children matters. And we learn through play.

  26. Melissa says:

    Why isn't anyone in an uproar about not only the impossible standards of beauty AND masculinity? Barbie is all we have heard about since the 80's (when the body image when I can recall became an issue) what about boys who thought they had to have 38"+ biceps thanks to He-Man, Thundercats, and GI Joe?

  27. a nony mouse says:

    Teaching an adult not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.

    What we learn matters. Child or not.

    As a child I learnt from my playmobil castle set how a king would run an economy and conduct great battles. That fed into interest for history. I did not learn that people are unable to bend their knees…

  28. Hannah says:

    The proposed new "average" Barbie still doesn't represent the "average" woman. Come on? 'Meaty' but a washboard flat stomach? Perfect skin, hair etc. Come on. I thought the purpose of this was to capture the more realistic features of the "average" woman.

  29. Sherry says:

    I'm kind of tired of the whole Barbie debate. At the age that children are playing with Barbies, body image is not an issue. It's the insecure mothers that have a problem with it. How about we let kids be kids and not project our screwed up visions of ourselves onto a hunk of plastic. And how about we start worrying about the magazines and television shows that the pre-teen and teen girls are watching. That's where the problem starts.

  30. Raven says:

    Why do we limit the debate to Barbie when there are plenty of other equally disproportionate dolls out there? Surely brands like Bratz, Moxie Girlz and Novi Stars portray an equally unrealistic body image? I also question the role of the parents in all this, are little girls trying to "be Barbie" because they play with the doll or because they see the adults in their life bemoaning their appearance and weight? Surely a child is likely to develop its attitude to body image by mimicking the actions and attitudes of their caregivers rather than playing with a doll.

    What worries me more than Barbies distorted appearance is her lack of career and lifestyle. When I was young I played with Barbie and Sindy and I remember that there were play sets where they became doctors or vets and clothing that saw them roller skating, doing aerobics or ballet, horse riding or swimming. Barbie may have been a clothes horse with a nice house and a pink Jeep but she was also a well educated career woman with an active lifestyle. A quick trawl through the Toys R Us website and I notice that these days children are more likely having Barbie getting a tattoo or having her nails done at the nail bar than going to work or doing sports. When did Barbie get so vapid and doesn't that send a worse message to our children than the size of her boobs or the length of her legs?

  31. Joe says:

    Hey guys the "no fun" police are here. Let's just take away everything that isn't exactly like society so kids don't ever get to use their imagination. In fact, let's start policing what children can and can't think. you think you want to be thin and beautiful? too bad. That make's someone not thin and beautiful and unhappy. Grow up with this "body image" bull shlt. Maybe young boys and girls should care more about their body image, because being the most obese nation in the world is nothing to be proud of and I am sorry, but big isn't beautiful.

  32. steph says:

    I think they actually look prettier than the regular barbie

  33. PsychStudent says:

    I did a project in one of my college psychology classes on this topic. There have actually been multiple published, scientific studies done which show that children's self-image and esteem (among other things) are affected by viewing unrealistically thin dolls or media (like magazines), compared to children who viewed dolls/media with healthy proportions. One study I remember in particular, had children around 5 years old view pictures of underweight women for just 15 minutes, and afterwards they had the children fill out questionnaires. The children who viewed underweight women rated their own bodies as significantly less likeable than children who viewed medium sized women. perhaps more importantly, they also tended to rate that they "felt like should lose weight" — a 5 year old thinking they need to lose weight (eek!), but the children who viewed medium women were less likely to think this way. And this was after viewing the pictures for only 15 minutes.. imagine how much a person would be affected after hours and hours of looking at magazines or playing with dolls over the course of a childhood. self-esteem may seem like not a big deal, but theres plenty of other studies that show that self-esteem increases or decreases your chance of a wide variety of big, important parts of life – everything from job success to romantic success to developing mental health disorders.
    There are a handful of more studies like this.
    Other evidence is also shown in studies of eating disorders. Eating Disorders almost 100% of time only show up in countries whose media idealizes unrealistic thinness. I'm not saying being naturally thin is a bad thing (its not, as long as youre healthy about it), or that being overweight should be A-OK, but I am saying that overly thin dolls DO have a significant effect on real-life problems, and its not a positive one.

  34. Renee Mc says:

    Didn't destroy your psyche but it DID make you mean and cranky

  35. tiff says:

    The average american Barbie would not have a flat stomach or blue eyes. Average american female would be a bit chubby. And the butt wouldn't be so Nikki Minaj. It's just a doll. There are worse influences to kids. Like their parents. Reality shows, music videos, miley cyrus and porn.

  36. abbyrosmarin says:

    The problem is that our brains don't understand things like "dolls" or "photoshop" (hell, it doesn't even understand "pictures" — which is why we cry like babies during tragic scenes in movies, even when we know it's pretend). Little girls internalize Barbie and her proportions. They might not go, "Barbie is how I should look!" But their brain categorizes the doll as a beauty ideal. And in an age where things like "thigh gaps" and jutting hip bones are the only real "ideal", this is something we have to pay attention to.

  37. abbyrosmarin says:

    There'll come a day when individual anecdotes aren't used to disprove macro issues.

  38. Guest says:

    Okay, so how almost all of these "beauty obsessed" kids grow up into obese adults? So much for the craving to be slim.

  39. MYSELF says:

    I believe people should just accept who they are no matter what and never try to change. if you are far too skinny, accept it don't change it and same if you are far too chubby accept it. do not change it. no one is "fat" or "skinny" people in other countries think skinny is sickly and embarrassing. we, as Americans believe differently but you cannot measure a person's personal feelings. Women are women no matter what. and women are beautiful. ugly, fat, skinny or fucking drop dead gorgeous.

  40. Michelle says:

    As long as it is marketed to be beautiful, or to be just as beautiful. It will hurt to see “more beautiful” than Barbie and will perpetuate the rhetoric that one body type is preferred over another.
    But damn, that booty is definitely one to be jealous of.

  41. Caroline says:

    I like the idea of a realistic (but pretty) body for Barbie. However, American girls have an average BMI of about 28. In other parts of the world (Europe minus the UK, and Asia) the average BMI is about 22 or 23. So for us, it's more like a "plus-size" Barbie.

  42. Arlene says:

    Iam over 54 years old African American I am very slim just like the thin barbie all of my life..so no such thing as most women are fat, that's a lesson just because your black ..iam living proof of that . bobby looks good either way

  43. Sarah says:

    There is no doll or toy or picture that can cause a child (or adult for that matter) to develop a healthy body image. This is only done with good parenting and then further hard work by the individual as they grow up. And, as a parent, that’s pretty terrifying, given the constant stream of unrealistic images everyone is bombarded with these days. Be thin but not too thin, or be fat, but, you know, healthy fat, and try this diet that will help you drop 10 lbs this weekend, but make sure you still have a healthy relationship with food, because really it doesn’t matter what size you are. As long as you are the right size. And whatever you do, don’t become obsessed with your looks. Just look exactly right.
    The biggest take away I have from this doll is we are so desperately obsessed with this body image issue, we are looking to toys to do the work we should just be doing as individuals.