Redefining Barbie & the Ideal Body

Watch out, Barbie. This holiday season, there’s a new doll to watch out for – Lammily.

Lammily, a portmanteau of designer Nickolay Lamm’s name and the word family, is an alternative to the legendary toy known to every American girl, Barbie. Lammily is proportioned to match the average measurements of a 19 year old girl – if Lammily was alive, she would be 5 ft 4 and have a chest measuring 32 inches, a waist measuring 31 inches, and hips measuring 33 inches. She would also have brown hair.

Via Fashionnstyle.com
Via Fashionnstyle.com

Lammily has receive a significant amount of praise as a toy for children. Unlike Barbie, whose measurements if she were real would be so unrealistic that she would not be able to stand up due to her tiny feet (not to mention her midsection not having room for all of her organs), Lammily’s body is shared by many women and actually healthily attainable for many others. There is even an extension pack of Lammily stickers, including scars, cellulite, and freckles.

“Our days…are inundated by media-related stereotypes and standards. Young girls are at even higher risks of being exposed to these media, often understanding their world through skinny Barbies and dependent Disney princesses. The Lammily doll combats this issue, giving young girls the ability to know a real body with real proportions. It is truly a trailblazing product, and I hope it becomes a standard doll in every family’s home,” said Steinhardt freshman Kate Avino.

Lammily’s marketing as “Normal Barbie” has sparked some criticism. Lammily has long straight hair, a flat stomach, and light skin. This branded “normal” suggests to girls that this plastic figure’s looks are the standard they should compare themselves to, which can still be a damaging thought for girls who don’t look like Lammily.

Tisch Freshman Gini Chang had other thoughts about Lammily. “I think that people have really moved away from creativity and gone too far with propriety and being aware. When I was a child I played with Legos and stuffed animals. Why are there dolls shaped like humans in the first place? In a way, it takes away from the creativity and imagination of playtime. In the past, children even made their own dolls so that they could do anything they wanted to with their toys,” Chang said. “It’s just another product to sell to kids.”

While Chang agreed that Lammily is “helping change society’s image of the ideal woman,” the idea that there is such a thing as an ideal woman still inevitably means that some who do not perceive themselves as close to the ideal will feel worse about themselves, ironic when Lammily is marketed as a self-esteem booster.

Althought Lammily will not abolish body image issues, she’s still a step forward in a direction much healthier than the one dominated by Barbie for decades.

Sophie Ding is a contributing writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com.

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