Artist Nickolay Lamm invented the Lammily doll. She is realistically proportioned, as opposed to Mattel’s Barbie doll, whose proportions are so whack she wouldn’t be able to stand upright if she were a real woman.
Through Tilt (formerly Crowdtilt), Lamm raised more than $501,384 — five times more than he’d set out to raise during the fundraising campaign. On the first day he raised $100,000! As of now, 19,000 Lammily dolls have been pre-ordered to arrive in time for Christmas.
The latest news is you can now order Lammily Marks, stick-on pimples, moles, scars, tattoos, freckles, and yes, even cellulite and stretch marks. I’m not sure exactly why there are no nipples, vagina, or even pubic hair yet, but let’s move on.
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Lamm created the doll in response to concern for how many girls have a distorted body image. In a Huffington Post article he wrote, “I’ve grown up alongside of my younger cousin. Now she is a 19-year-old competitive collegiate athlete and top student, a beautiful young woman and an inspirational person. All muscles, she used to call herself ‘fat.’ She could only look ‘fat’ if compared to exceptionally thin beauty standards.”
You may remember the infographic posted by Rehabs.com in its eating disorders section that appeared alongside an article called, “Dying to be Barbie: Eating Disorders in Pursuit of the Impossible.” The opening paragraph said, “Four out of five 10-year-olds say that they’re afraid of being fat and 42 percent of girls in first through third grade wish they were thinner.”
As a kid, I would’ve liked Lammily because she has a build like my mom. My mom was — and is — beautiful. She taught us about healthy eating and exercise and told me to pursue artistic endeavors because they were good for my soul. Mom and I were both thrilled when the 2010 book, “Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer” got killed. The title sounds great, but this line — more than any other in the 1950s-sounding language — just kills me:
“I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie says, laughing. “I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”
I’m grateful to have been raised by a feminist and know that’s a terrible message to give little girls. “Don’t worry your pretty little head about anything important. You can always turn to men who know how to do things.” WTF?
My mom had consciousness-raising groups in our house since I was in grade school. I eavesdropped and almost died laughing when the women said the word vagina — something Barbie and even Lammily don’t have.
I loved Barbie, but did she contribute to my eating disorder? Maybe. My guess it that it started one day at gymnastics when we had to weigh-in. Coach said he had to check our weight for the upcoming national competitions. I gingerly stepped on the scale. My confidence crashed when Coach said I had to lose five pounds. He wrote on his clipboard and nudged me to move along. I stepped off the scale, burning with shame and humiliation.
By age 12, friends and I swore off food so we’d look sexy. We took up smoking. I’d get a round of applause if I ate nothing but an apple for lunch. Soon we discovered speed, which made it much easier to skip meals. I spent decades worrying about eating and trying to drop five pounds. When people told me I looked too thin, I was delighted and squealed, “Thank you!”
So, yeah, I think Lammily is a much better doll than Barbie. But when I heard about the removable stickers of cellulite and stretch marks I was like, “What?!” That is, until I watched a video showing kids delighted that Lammily looked like a real person. They were so happy that Lammily was built more like their mom or aunt — who might have cellulite and stretch marks. So now I think it’s cool kids have an option to put those stickers on their doll.
Another thing worth mentioning is this info on the FAQ page of the Lammily website: “In 2015, we’re hoping to extend the line to embrace diversity. From race to body type, we want this doll to be true to you!”
OK, that sounds great, and I’m happy about that, but now I can’t help but wonder if the political correctness should soon include removable genitalia and breasts for transsexuals, too. And why not include butch clothes for lesbian Lammily? I’d be thrilled to see that. It would be much more all-inclusive and could help everyone embrace their inner selves.
Sadly, I don’t think it would sell well in Republican states, but maybe, just maybe, that will change, too. One can hope.
Watch what kids think of Lammily:
Watch the comparison of Lammily to Barbie:
Dorri Olds is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.