Can a Barbie with an average body solve health and weight related issues?
Last year, Nickolay Lamm, an artist and researcher, created a “Barbie” doll model based on the measurements of an average American female.
After his designs emerged online and went viral, he decided to take the project a little further and crowdfund dolls based on his concept.
Named “Lammily”, these dolls cost around $17 and are up on Lamm’s crowdfunding site. Its aim is to produce at least 5,000 models which will wear a light amount of makeup and be of average height and weight.
The creator claims Lammily is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle, diversity and loving yourself. However, not everyone might be able to relate to the idea.
The “Average” Label:
While the concept behind Lammily is no doubt better than the size-zero Barbies, chances are the new doll might just create another label – “average” – in a society where people and children are mostly judged on the basis of how they look pretty much all the time.
The creation of a separate “standard” or “regular” body type can potentially put more pressure on some people to be above average.
What Exactly Is A “Normal” Body?
The next question that immediately comes into consideration is the definition of “average” or what exactly is a “normal” body.
Sure Nikolay Lamm put in a lot of effort and research into coming up with the dimensions for the doll. He used the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, will his size be considered average by almost all the people who will buy the product?
When it comes to body type, “average” is something that varies among women. To be more precise, it’s a fairly complex debate.
Moreover, calling Lammily “normal” is bound to offend females who do not comply with the doll’s measurements.
When you say ‘average is beautiful’ what does that make people who are – let’s say – not average?
Lamm announced he plans to make more dolls in different ethnicities, however, he doesn’t really want to make an plus-size ones.
“There are healthy plus-sized women out there, but as a whole I don’t want dolls that make kids think that being obese is okay,” he stated.
Sometimes, there are medical causes for seemingly unexplained and unintentional weight gain. For women who think loving one’s body as it is, Lammily is going to be yet another Barbie.
Body Image And Health Issues:
Not everyone has the tendency to maintain a normal or average body weight. Therefore, the new doll might just be another unattainable model for people struggling with health issues such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
In December last year, a plus-size Barbie doll was slammed as an ‘inaccurate representation of overweight women.’
Maybe dolls aren’t the best way to solve health-related issues in kids. Not that people should give up making or buying dolls, but obsessing over sizes – be it in toys or designer clothes – would only make more room for confusion among people including children struggling with weight.
There are better ways for promoting a healthy lifestyle. Let’s just stick to that.