Barbie dolls are wildly popular, and wildly unrealistic. Fans of a still-to-be-built alternative to Barbie are putting their money and behind a company whose tagline is "average is beautiful."
WASHINGTON — Bombshell Barbie, known for her famously impossible measurements and movie-star good looks, may soon know how the rest of us feel.
Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm is using a crowd-funding campaign to produce a Lammily doll, which he refers to as “normal Barbie.”
The tagline on Lammily is “Average is beautiful.”
Lamm drew worldwide attention last year when he used body measurements of an average 19-year-old woman provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a 3-D model which he took a picture of beside a Barbie doll.
In Lamm’s CrowdtiltOpen funding project, backers have already contributed more than the $95,000 he needed to produce the first run of dolls.
What’s wrong with Barbie?
Lamm says his doll promotes realistic beauty standards, compared with the top- heavy, tiny-waisted Barbie who would have to crawl because of the miniscule ankles on her too-long legs, according to calculations by Rehabs.com.
“Most fashion dolls on the market are dressed like princesses or wear funky outfits,” Lamm told HuffPo. “I wanted Lammily to wear clothes that Gap or J. Crew might design.”
Lamm says the message of realistic body image targets parents of daughters.
“Many young girls do not care about body image; they just want a fun doll to play with,” says Lamm.
Lamm says he’s been consulting with a former executive at Mattel (the company that produces Barbie) in readying Lammily for production.
Lammily has brown hair and wears little makeup, says Lamm.
No apologies from Barbie
Mattel has said Barbie’s curves were never meant to be realistic, and she was designed to be easily dressed and undressed.
The company drew criticism several weeks ago when Barbie was pictured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
On Thursday, advocacy groups urged the Girl Scouts of America to end its partnership with the doll’s manufacturer.
Lamm says he is confident his doll will appeal to children.
“She isn’t just a doll with typical body proportions; she’s a fun doll which just happens to have typical body proportions,” says Lamm.
Lamm estimates the first editions of Lammily will be on sale by November 2014.