Barbie may be popular and sought after among young girls but the doll's unrealistic body proportion has received flak as critics say it generates unrealistic ideals for a woman's body, which could lead to risks of anorexia among girls.
If you're caught between giving in to your daughter's wishes for Mattel's iconic doll and avoiding the consequences of Barbie possibly influencing your child's notion of an ideal body image, there's some good news for you.
An artist from western Pennsylvania who designed a Barbie-like doll with normal body proportions, has raised enough crowd-sourced money to finance the initial production of his Lammily doll, which looks like Barbie but with the body proportions of an average teenage girl.
Nickolay Lamm, a full-time artist and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a 3D computer model of the Lammily doll so it will have the proportions of an average 19-year old female.
Lamm wanted to produce the Lammily doll for retail stores so he turned to crowdfunding for help and it appears there is popular support for a fashion doll with standard human proportions because from the $95,000 Lamm wanted to raise to cover the cost of creating Lammily and meeting the minimum order quantity required by the manufacturer, he has, to date, already raised $300,748.
"The doll is made according to typical human body proportions," Lamm described Lammily doll. "Lammily wears minimal makeup. Her wardrobe isn't composed of typical clothing for dolls - she is dressed with striking simplicity."
Lamm also said that Robert Rambeau, a former Vice President of Manufacturing at Mattel, the toy company behind Barbie, has offered to help him select a qualified manufacturer for his doll.
"Rather than waiting for toy companies to change their designs, let's change them ourselves by creating a fashion doll that promotes realistic beauty standards," Lamm said.
Lamm said he expect his dolls to come out in November. The doll will have bendable elbows, wrists, knees and feet as well.
"The message about body image targets parents of daughters. Many young girls do not care about body image; they just want a fun doll to play with. This initial campaign is aimed more towards parents, but the future depends on young girls wanting to play with Lammily," Lamm said. "I spent lots of time and research to create a doll which daughters are going to love. She isn't just a doll with typical body proportions; she's a fun doll which just happens to have typical body proportion."