Nobody goes around saying they want to look like Barbie when they grow up, at least not anymore. But with Halloween fast approaching, I dare you to find a class of kindergarteners that does not have at least half the girls planning to be princesses of some sort or another. If the princess craze doesn't make you want to yell out your window at the throngs of trick-or-treaters, "Hey, girls! Let. It. Go!" it might at the very least make you wonder what this type of obsession does to our girls' body images. After all, Elsa and Anna may be "modern women" in that they value their sisterly love over the fairy-tale ideal of a handsome prince charming, but their physical proportions are still eerily close to that 50's icon we all know and love: Barbie. Really, Disney? Are we still stuck on the impossibly thin-waisted, big-boobed, bobbleheaded ideal of beauty? When can we let that go?
Artist Nickolay Lamm, inspired by his own and his relative's struggles with body-image issues, wondered what Mattel's Barbie doll would look like if she weren't such an anatomical freak. If you've never laughed about Barbie's ridiculous proportions or gotten angry at the impossible standards we set for little girls, google "photoshopped celebrities before and after" (or check out this animated gif of Britney Spears) to see how practically all the images we are bombarded with in advertising and entertainment are "enhanced," presumably to separate us from who we should be striving to be in the name of buying more crap we don't need. But back to Lamm: he took the measurements of a real, healthy 19-year-old and sculpted a digital model that he could print out for a side-by side comparison with the busty, blonde icon. The results put Barbie in a new light:
Encouraged by the response to his Barbie project, Lamm was inspired to create a doll with a body-type that is much closer to attainable for many more girls than the ridiculous ideals the fashion and beauty industries peddle. Lamm's efforts took off as the Kickstarter campaign he launched in May reached its goal in 24 hours and has sold 19,000 dolls to date. And Lamm doesn't want to stop there. He envisions creating many more ethnicities, body types, shapes and sizes, for men as well as women. You can pre-order the Lammily doll here, or follow her on Facebook. Nickolay Lamm's other projects can be found on his website. Now if he could only wrap his cast of characters up in an award-winning musical animation and pump it through the Disney marketing machine, he might just create an empire of real beauty.