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Meet the ‘Real-Girl’ Barbie That’s Ready to Hit the Toy Market

Written on March 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm , by

Last July, Nickolay Lamm, a 25-year-old artist and researcher, created a digital rendering of what Barbie would look like if she were modeled after an average 19-year-old woman, based on measurements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The result: a shorter, shapelier-looking doll image that went viral. We fell in love with the new version as quickly as you did, which highlighted that average is, in fact, beautiful. “I simply wanted to show that a doll like Barbie can look good with typical body proportions,” says Lamm.

FITNESS fans had mixed reviews – some of you loved the idea of creating a more realistic-looking doll, while others thought the whole concept silly. “I did play with Barbie growing up, but I didn’t strive to become her,” said one reader. “I saw her as more of a friend, not a sexual image that I need to become.”

Regardless of whether or not you thought the idea to be the next genius step in doll production or a silly farce, very few believed the creation of this new toy to be bad, and many said they would even purchase and use it to help teach their children about healthy body image. “I got a lot of emails saying, ‘Hey, where can we buy a doll like this,’” explains Lamm. “I think that the popularity of the images themselves kind of validated the design of the body.” That said, Lamm is ready to take his vision to the next level.

Today Lamm launched a crowdfunding campaign on his website, Lammily.com, with the hopes of raising the $95,000 he needs to support the creation of 5,000 dolls. He’s offered an exclusive first edition Lammily to every person who decides to back his project with a minimum $17 donation. As of press time, 237 backers had raised $5,375, and the numbers are rapidly growing.

With the help and guidance of former Vice President of Manufacturing at Mattel, Roger Rambeau, Lamm took his digital design and turned it into the Lammily doll. “Lammily is designed off the same body I used in the original project,[which was based on the classic Barbie]” he says. “But I changed her face, her hair, her articulation—even her skin tone a little—so that it’s my original design.”

Interestingly enough, this all comes on the heels of Mattel launching an “unapologetic” campaign for the original Barbie doll, which included featuring her in the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Of course, the Lammily doll would also be in competition with market-dominating, overly-sexualized Bratz dolls. And with a petition floating around for a Disney plus-sized princess, it’s clear there’s a demand for more diversity in the toy market.

Lamm says that his Lammily doll is about promoting a healthy, fit lifestyle, along with realistic beauty standards. He describes her as fun, fit and strong (just like our readers!). She’ll come dressed in a simple blue-white ombre blouse, jean shorts and white sneakers, with minimal makeup.

If this crowdfunding endeavor is successful, Lamm hopes to create more dolls with different ethnicities and body shapes. But we want to hear from you. Sound off in the comments and tell us whether you would buy a Lammily doll over the classic Barbie. Why or why not?

Additional reporting by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern. Photos courtesy of Lammily.com

More from FITNESS:

Should Disney Make a Plus-Sized Princess?

How America Should Move Forward in a Nation of Obesity

Living Large: How I Learned to Love My Body

Average is Beautiful: Meet the ‘Real-Girl’ Barbie Doll

Written on July 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm , by

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

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 MyDeals.com 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?