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Oh, You Average Doll

March 12, 2014

Fat HealthExerciseEating DisordersFat NewsDiet Talk

The news this week has been abuzz over a young man’s attempt to create an alternative fashion doll to the ultra-popular Barbie, by modeling it on the measurements of an “average” 19-year-old woman, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meet Lammily:

The "Lammily" doll

Named after creator Nickolay Lamm, the doll is shorter and wider and will feature bendable joints and minimal makeup. Lamm has created a crowdfunding site to raise the $95,000 to produce the dolls (as of this post, he more than met his goal with close to $400,000 in donations). He also plans to make outfits, accessories and add dolls of different ethnicities.

Lamm’s reason for making the dolls is to have another toy out there that doesn’t promote Barbie’s unrealistic beauty standards or the sexualized style of Bratz, another doll that’s been popular with young girls. It’s refreshing to see someone, especially a young guy, trying to put another option out there.

However, there are some problematic elements with the campaign, particularly the fact that Lammily would still meet the ideal of someone who has a socially-acceptable body and Lamm is marketing the doll as one that has a “healthy lifestyle” (and as we know, there are plenty of people out there with proportions way larger than this doll who do live healthy lifestyles). There’s also  the use of the terms “real” and “normal” to describe the new dolls (even if a live woman would never be able to recreate Barbie’s actual proportions without costly plastic surgery and disordered eating) that demean those with slender figures.

I do wish Nickolay Lamm a lot of luck with his project. He is trying to make something that young girls might feel good about in this sea of nonstop negative body talk. And who knows, if Lammily becomes a hit, maybe in the future we will see someone do this:

Plus-size Barbie

Meet Big, Bad Barbie. Comes with her very own bridge for all those trolls to cross.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Feminist Cupcake permalink
    March 12, 2014 9:54 am

    Reblogged this on Feminist Cupcake.

  2. hlkolaya permalink
    March 12, 2014 10:36 am

    also, not sure if you’re read it or are aware, but Lamm has specifically said he would never make a plus sized doll because it “promotes obesity” and an unhealthy lifestyle.

    • lifeonfats permalink
      March 12, 2014 5:35 pm

      I wasn’t aware but figured that he would think that after he made those “healthy lifestyle comments.”

  3. vesta44 permalink
    March 12, 2014 12:06 pm

    I had thought about donating to his cause until I read that he thought a plus-sized doll would be “promoting” obesity. That is very problematical for me, as a fat woman, especially as he thinks fat bodies aren’t capable of being healthy. Yeah, he can kiss my fat ass. The doll is a good idea but he needs to leave the moralizing about health out of it. I’d rather see a company make dolls of all sizes, colors, ethnicities, genders, abilities, etc rather than just the “idealized” sizes like Barbie, Bratz, and his Lammily.

    • March 17, 2014 4:32 pm

      Absolutely! A little diversity would go a long way to creating a world of happier little girls who didn’t hate their bodies–dare I say, a world with fewer eating disorders. It’s so easy, yet our screwed up society makes it so difficult.

  4. March 17, 2014 4:31 pm

    Reblogged this on Sly Fawkes and commented:
    Interestingly, in spite of the “healthy lifestyle” that has been forced upon me by diabetes, I still can’t get below 300 pounds despite the fact that I exercise for an hour plus a day a bare minimum of four days a week and eat one whole fuckton less than I used to when I had an actual appetite, I can’t get below 300 pounds. It pisses me off that although I am physically active (considered a positive thing) and have a reasonably “healthy” diet (also considered a positive thing) I am still considered a horrible, horrible excuse for a human being because my body refuses to adhere to social standards of attractiveness. So, for the record, anyone who adheres to the stupid idea that all fat people are unhealthy, or even that anyone has an obligation to be healthy, can kiss my fat, diabetic, hypothyroid, middle-aged ass.

  5. vvwolfe permalink
    March 20, 2014 2:26 pm

    While I don’t like his comments or indeed even think there is a grain of truth to the “healthy size” mentality. I do think the ball has got to start rolling somewhere. I think if this doll does well it will be an incentive for other doll makers to step outside of the “perfection” box and make all different body types, sizes, ethnicities. Maybe a pear shape or apple (for lack of recognizable terms)

    You don’t want to support it and I understand but the likely hood someone is gonna magically appear to meet all our moral and ethical standards to get enough backing to do something is unlikely. While I hate to admit it Privilege is still more listened to than not. The fact that the person heading this drive is a thin conventionally attractive white male should not be lost, because can you imagine if it had been headed by a plus sized person ? do you think it would have gotten as much support let alone to make a plus size doll. Have you not even read all the backlash to make an “average” sized doll rather than the “ideal” ?

    Some step forward is better than none I think.

    And really until our own government stops seeing Fat people as a disease that needs to be done away with what is the likelyhood you think that we’ll see a plus sized fashion doll ?

  6. March 20, 2014 7:24 pm

    The Association of Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) is opening up a discussion on all things Barbie in their blog this week. If you feel like seeing other people’s posts or posting more on this subject you can find the blog at http://healthateverysizeblog.org/2014/03/20/the-haes-files-you-great-big-beautiful-doll/

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