Why The 'Normal Barbie' With Cellulite, Stretch Marks And Acne Isn't Really Normal
Meet 'normal Barbie'! She has cellulite, wears no makeup and has slightly large posterior. What's more, she even comes with stickers where you can place a zit, some stretch marks or a scratch.
Created by graphic designer-turned-toy-maker Nickolay Lamm, the 11-inch doll, named Lammily, is being claimed to be of typical female proportions. The idea, according to the designer, is to give girls toys that reflect the lovable imperfections of their own bodies.
He was inspired to work on the Lammily doll after recent reports about what the iconic Barbie doll would look like if she had the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman’s body. (Those are based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)washingtonpost.com
“I feel not only kids, but we as adults try to escape reality watching movies, playing video games and being on our phones all the time,” he said. “But I wanted to show that life is beautiful and reality is all we have.” He said he developed a passion for the project because he lived through his share of body insecurities.washingtonpost.com
While with stick-thin bodies, permanently arched feet, and platinum blonde hair, the 'real' Barbie dolls don't look like most real women, Lammily, the 'normal Barbie', isn't that different too
Why do I say so? You see, by addressing this Barbie counterpart as 'normal Barbie' (or 'average') and saying that she resembles 'actual women' - which let's clear first hand, she clearly doesn't, is in a way perpetuating the notion that this is something to strive for.
Also, as impeccably noted by The Gloss, since when did stick-on cellulite become the solution to a body image crisis? And if dolls don't have pores, where is the acne coming from then?
And if a doll doesn't have any variation in its skin tone, don't those stretch marks look weird? Besides, we're actually reinforcing the idea of a so-called 'normal body' with this still-thin brunette who everyone is claiming to be the new example of diversity.
Lammily is white with long brown hair, and though the precise measurements and acne stickers make her different from actual Barbie, she still has a petite figure and fit body. So what exactly are we celebrating here? Another doll with white skin, caucasian features, over-sized lips, and a flat stomach? The vague sense of diversity that comes from making a doll with bendable wrists?bustle.com
Another problem with this 'normal Barbie', as noted by Bustle, is that the creator used CDC statistics with a sample size of only 118 people to find the measurements for his doll, which is not even close to being representative of the entire population and therefore completely undeserving of being called a 'normal Barbie'
It’s also important to note that even within those 118 people used to find a mean for all 19-year-olds, there would be significant variation in the amount of fat visible on their bodies, the length or their legs and torsos, width of their arms, shape of their waist, etc. But “normal barbie” only pitches one of those heights, weights, and limb proportions to be average. This is a problem.bustle.com
Now, don't get me wrong here. You see, there's a lot that could actually accomplish this goal of celebrating real women's bodies. How? Simply by making a line of dolls with different shapes, skin colors, and imperfections already printed on them.
Young girls won't actually grow to accept the beauty and diversity of womanhood if they are still being told that a woman's body start off thin and white and clean and pretty until they collect various marks and scars - something this 'normal Barbie' glorifies
If 'normal' means white, fit, and wealthy, well news flash, turns out there is a large population of people who aren't those things
That being said, though? I’m really glad that people are trying to make a difference. I’m really glad that you can add tattoos to Barbies now. I’m really glad that, once we hammer out the details, kids are going to to start growing up in a culture that sucks a lot, lot less. Lammily might not be The Answer, but she’s an interesting place to start! I hope she recovers from all those gnarly burn marks.thegloss.com