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Average is Beautiful: Meet the 'Real-Girl' Barbie Doll

The new Barbie puts things into perspective. (Photo courtesy of Nickolay Lamm,

Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern

What if Barbie were just an average girl in a Barbie world? What if America’s favorite little doll actually looked like its consumers, instead of a plastic version of perfection? These what-ifs have been bounced (ineffectively) around for years, until someone finally decided to take the topic into his own hands.

Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm of challenged the perception of artificial beauty last week by creating a real-girl Barbie doll. “I think Barbie symbolizes unrealistic beauty standards, not just in dolls, but in movies, magazines, the media—everywhere,” explains Lamm. “So I asked myself, what would Barbie look like if she were a real woman?”

To get his answer, Lamm used measurements of an average 19-year-old girl from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to form a blank 3-D model, then Photoshopped the model to create a Barbie with a real body.  “When I got the white model, I thought, there’s no way this can ever look like a Barbie doll,” says Lamm, “but once I Photoshopped it, I was surprised by how real Barbie can look.”

The results are, in fact, shocking. The new and, as some might say, improved Barbie has a thicker waist, a shorter neck, and a much more shapely backside. In other words—this doll looks perfectly healthy. “I think this shows how beautiful real women are,” says Lamm; “Average is beautiful.” We whole-heartedly agree.

Now you tell us: Would you buy the “real-life” Barbie, or the original classic?



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