'Normal Barbie' Doll With Average Female Body Is Coming to Life

Meet Lammily, who is perfectly normal and of healthy stature.
Lamm

Do you like the idea of Barbie but hate that by even whispering her name you're contributing to the perpetuation of superhuman, hyperheteronormative beauty standards that eternalize a culture of shame? Well, meet Lammily.

Traditional Barbie, left, and Lamm's
"Normal Barbie" concept doll, right.
Not on speaking terms. (N. Lamm)

Lammily is the forthcoming plastic doll whose motto is, "Average is beautiful." Her body shape is based on averages of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that is more often used to track the American obesity epidemic. She is not affiliated with Mattel's Barbie.

Last year, graphic designer Nickolay Lamm created some concept images of the "Normal Barbie" that became very popular around the Internet. (If you didn't see them, one is to the right.) Today Lamm is launching a project to put the design into production and make the dolls a reality. It's crowd-sourced, it "promotes realistic standards of beauty," and it can be under your holiday tree by late 2014 if enough people support the project.

Just like Barbie, Lammily has articulated elbows and likes horses and fast cars and rodeos, but she also likes slow cars, or whatever, it's even fine if you just have a bike and use a car-sharing service. Who owns a car anymore? Lammily isn't here to judge you, or leave you for a better-looking, closeted gay man with perfect sweaters and a nice car.

Want to kick the beach ball around? Lammily is game.

She can wear heels, too.

This is what the doll looks like pre-skin, as rendered by Lamm based on 19-year-old U.S. female averages, in comparison with Barbie's measurements:

And then, once again, post-skin:

If Barbie's biggest flaw isn't that she couldn't actually stand up were she a real person, or that she can't seem to dedicate herself to one profession enough to ever achieve greatness, or just her caricaturistic stature itself, it's that, especially lately, she's been lording beauty pride over everyone. Last month, one of Barbie's designers, Kim Culmone, defended the doll's stature by saying that Barbie couldn't be made to look otherwise because then her clothes wouldn't fit. Lammily's clothes seem to fit.

When Barbie landed the cover of Sports Illustrated's most recent Swimsuit Issue, a pseudocontroversial play for media attention, the magazine said that flaunting Barbie's hyperbolic appearance was in fact not about confusing the space between children's toys and sexuality, but about honestly appraising one's self worth. It was about not being ashamed of your appearance, because, look, Barbie isn't. People have come after Barbie for years, telling her she looks fake, but she still puts herself out there.

Anyway, next up: realistic version of He-Man. Step one is getting rid of those ridiculous bangs. And that iron vest!

Related: This Is the Average Man's Body

Presented by

James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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