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Artist Creates Barbie With Average-Size Body & We Wish Our Daughters Could Get One (PHOTOS)

Posted by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 7:21 AM
  • 12 Replies


Artist Creates Barbie With Average-Size Body & We Wish Our Daughters Could Get One (PHOTOS)

posted by Maressa Brown 


barbie normal nickolay lammEver since Barbie made her debut in 1959, certain questions have weighed on our minds: Why doesn't she look anything like real women? What would a real woman with her proportions actually look like?! What if her proportions were actually based on a real woman's? And beyond all that, what kind of negative effect -- if any -- is her distorted, unrealistic body having on the legions of little girls who've grown up playing with Barbie dolls for decades?

Artist Nickolay Lamm is addressing all of these Qs with his creation of "Normal" Barbie, aka a 3-D model created from CDC measurements of an average 19-year-old woman. He explained his rationale to us: "I created this 'Normal' Barbie, because I feel that if there's even a small chance of Barbie negatively influencing girls, and if normal Barbie looks good, why doesn't Mattel make 'normal Barbie'? ... I want to show people that normal Barbie can look even better than real Barbie. Average is beautiful."

More from The Stir: 7-Year-Old Girl’s Honest Reactions to 10 Barbies Will Shock the Doll’s Critics

It's true. His "Normal Barbie" looks stunning, doncha think? And a lot more, I don't know, real

barbie normal nickolay lamm

Still, shockingly, at least judging from comments under one story about Lamm's "Normal Barbie" experiment, some people think there's absolutely no negative effect -- and therefore no need for Mattel to make a more realistic doll. They argue that Barbie's "just a child's toy," and write, "If a little girl is dumb enough to think she's supposed to look like an 11-inch tall doll, that's her problem." Wow. No. It's not her problem. It's Mattel's and parents' and everyone's problem, because the downstream effects of what a little girl believes is beautiful and attractive and acceptable are tremendous. It could be a piece of the puzzle influencing whether she spends her life dreaming of finding the cure for cancer -- or pining after plastic surgery.

To that kind of thinking, Lamm says:

Some people think it's okay to tell real human beings how skinny they look, yet refuse to lay the same criticism on Barbie even though young girls are probably much more exposed to her than advertisements with skinny models. ... Just because we think something isn't affecting us, doesn't mean that's the case. I feel a lot of our actions are based on things we don't even think about.

Cheers to that! But the thing is ... we should be thinking about them, and that's what an artistic experiment like Lamm's aims to do. It gets a conversation going and gets us thinking about how we and our daughters and future generations of girls' body images and perceptions of beauty may be molded by Barbie's warped body -- perhaps in ways we never even realized.

What do you think of Lamm's experiment? Do you think there's a need for a "Normal Barbie"? Do you believe Barbie negatively influences girls?

by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 7:21 AM
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Replies (1-10):
momofsixangels
by Colleen on Jul. 3, 2013 at 7:53 AM

I think its great.Honestly I dont think a barbie really  influences a little girl.A little girl just loves playing with a barbie and doesnt think about her body

MamaJane
by Jane:) on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:02 AM
I think all the hype on Barbie is crazy. It IS just a doll. However I like the new version. She looks just like Shawn Johnson. :)
momma-flynn
by Greta on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:05 AM
I like the new Barbie
SweetLuci
by Luci on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:16 AM

 I do think there's a need for a normal Barbie, but I would rather see it as a teenaged girl. I bought a doll that American Girl had, Hopscotch Hill doll. It was a little larger than a Barbie and had jointed knees and elbows, so it could sit and be in other positions. It was supposed to be a 6 year old girl. There were books that went with them.  And dgd loved it. The first thing she said was "It looks like a girl like me!". She loved it, so I bought the others, different complexions, different features, and then we passed them down to a cousin, and she passed them on. Every girl loved them. Wish they still made them.

Stevensmomma
by Platinum Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:36 AM
1 mom liked this

It's kinda ugly compared to old Barbie it just doesn't look right to me , it i honestly don't think that little girls think about her body when playing with it I know I didn't I just like playing with dolls I loved to brush her hair 

maxswolfsuit
by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 8:42 AM


Quoting Stevensmomma:

It's kinda ugly compared to old Barbie it just doesn't look right to me , it i honestly don't think that little girls think about her body when playing with it I know I didn't I just like playing with dolls I loved to brush her hair 

You said it right there, she's uglier than the real Barbie. But she also had a better figure than most women. 

I don't think little girls think about their figures while playing Barbie. But who knows how much Barbie influences their image of the ideal women as they get older. I think young women have lots media giving them unrealistic expectations for their appearance. I don't know if Barbie has more of an influence than other media though.

MamaMandee
by Mandee on Jul. 3, 2013 at 11:51 PM
This

Quoting momofsixangels:

I think its great.Honestly I dont think a barbie really  influences a little girl.A little girl just loves playing with a barbie and doesnt think about her body

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LindaClement
by Bronze Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 11:52 PM

I don't think there's a need for a 'normal' barbie anymore than there's a need for a 'normal' Raggedy Ann.

LindaClement
by Bronze Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 11:54 PM

I also think it's disingenuous to photograph them without ordinary clothes on.

Barbie's proportions are so when clothing fabrics (which are NOT proportionally thinner for barbies than they are for humans) are on the doll, she doesn't look like a brick.

The 'normal' doll with ordinary clothes would look like she's a circle.

scorpiobabes
by Bronze Member on Jul. 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

This 'real' Barbie is shaped like a pear-and I am apple-shaped. I was NEVER able to grow a butt or hips! And I'd love to meet a 19-year-old shaped like the 'real' Barbie-it seems that girls today are super skinny (not healthy), extremely heavy, or if they're just right, they want to change their bodies! 

I don't think that Barbie is the problem-it's society as a whole. I grew up with all sorts of issues about my body, but I was also comparing myself to girls that were taller than I was. I read in Seventeen about how to lose weight and that I should measure different parts of my body besides my waist to guage my weight loss!

While I'm not altogether happy with my body, I no longer see a horribly distorted picture either. I have one 'problem' area, but I'm aware of it, and trying to do something about it.

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