Throughout her nearly 55 years of existence, Barbie has accrued both a dedicated fan base and a host of critics. Whether it’s her disproportionate waist size, outfit choices or makeup, the doll has been the center of scrutiny.
In his latest attempt to combat the unattainable image Barbie presents to girls, Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm has launched a crowdfunding campaign to make “Normal Barbie” dolls. Called "Lammily" dolls, the figurines are meant to have realistic body proportions, natural makeup and sport casual clothes like jean shorts, running shoes and workout gear.
“The design of Lammily is the statement itself: average is beautiful,” Lamm told the International Business Times in an email.
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Lamm has previously launched two viral campaigns in the last year focused on Barbie. The first involved stripping Barbie of her makeup with the hope it would inspire toy companies to rethink the Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) doll’s glammed-up look.
“I think it’s a little bit too hypersexualized and I think people don’t say anything because makeup has been on dolls for so long,” Lamm told Today at the time.
Lamm’s second project involved using government data on the measurements of an average 19-year-old American woman to create a 3D model of what an “average” Barbie would look like.
"If there's even a small chance of Barbie in its present form negatively influencing girls, and if Barbie looks good as an average-sized woman in America, what's stopping Mattel from making one?" Lamm told the Huffington Post about the message behind doll.
Lamm’s Lammily dolls are inspired by his past two projects.
“After I created Average Barbie, a lot of kids and mothers were asking me, 'Where can we get a doll like this?' So, Lammily is my response to them. I did this for them,” he said. “I'm not necessarily trying to send a message, I'm just trying to make an alternative which does not yet exist.”
Lamm hopes to raise $95,000 to create the Lammily dolls with the eventual goal of selling them in retail stores within the price range of existing dolls. Lamm says he has tested Lammily’s design on his young cousins and their feedback was positive.
“My cousins like the Lammily designs I showed them,” Lamm told the Christian Science Monitor. “The general consensus was that the doll looks more like them and that she looks friendly and inviting.”