Have you guys met Lammily?
Lammily is a healthy, beautiful doll with the proportions of an average 19-year old girl. She has bendable elbows and knees so that she can run and play sports and has joints in her ankles so that she can wear flats as well as high heels. She wears minimal makeup, and, in a culture where young girls are inundated with playthings that look like this and this, she is a breath of fresh air.
Lammily is the genius creation of Nikolay Lamm who won over the hearts of healthy-body-image advocates everywhere last year when he showed what Barbie would look like as an average girl. After getting tons of questions asking where one could buy a doll that looked like a real human being and coming up short he decided to create one himself.
I wasn't really into Barbies as a kid. (My parents stopped buying them for me when they discovered my main use for them was pulling off their limbs and using them to build rubber band guns). I'm thankful, too, because the statistics are astounding. Four out of five 10-year-olds say that they're afraid of being fat. 42% of girls in first through third grade wish they were thinner. And half of girls aged 9 or 10 claim that they feel better about themselves when they're dieting. (source) While this is certainly due to a variety of cultural and environmental factors, studies also show that after playing with a thin doll young girls ate significantly less at their next meal than girls who played with a normal sized doll.
I don't have kids yet, but when I do I know I will be reluctant to allow them to play with a doll that has been used as a sex-object for men. I want my kids to know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes; (including thin, "average," and above-average.) I want them to value health above aesthetic. I want them to avoid the body image disorders that plagued me for years. Heck, I want these things for me and for you as well! I know our culture has a long, long way to go when it comes to valuing women (and men) of all shapes and sizes. However I'm thankful for the steps that people like Lamm are taking, and I'm hopeful that by the time I do have school-aged kids dolls like Lammily will be the ones filling the shelves.
Interested in getting a Lammily for yourself? Head over to Nikolay's crowd-funding page to get in on the first line of production. Hurry- spots are going fast!
All images courtesy of Time