Welcome to the age of “telling it like it is.” No more idealized views of women, at least where children are concerned. Say hello to new the “normal” (read: imperfect) Barbie doll, which will have the body of an “average American woman” (whatever that means). The toy will come an add-on pack that allows little girls — presumably little boys, too — to give their dolls acne, cellulite, stretch marks, even surgical scars.
The Huffington Post reports:
Last year, artists and researcher Nickolay Lamm designed the original “Lammily” dolls, scaled to the measurements of the average 19-year-old woman, after becoming frustrated at how unrealistic Barbie’s proportions are. His goal was to create a fun, appealing doll with natural-looking makeup and a casual, sporty wardrobe.
“I feel that, right now, dolls are very ‘perfect’ looking, when, in real life, few of us have perfect skin,” Lamm told The Huffington Post in an email. “So, why not give dolls a ‘real treatment?’ Things like acne, stretch marks, and cellulite are a natural part of who we are.”
An estimated 50 to 90 percent of women will develop stretch marks in their lifetime, and over 90 percent of women have cellulite on their bodies. Acne is also incredibly common, with an estimated 80 percent of people experiencing an outbreak between the ages of 11 and 30.
Getting kids used to the idea that these things are completely normal and not “flaws” to be ashamed of can only be a good thing.
Imperfection carries a hefty price tag. The exclusive first edition of the Lammily doll, unadorned, will set parents back $25. Contrast that with the basic original Barbie, available at Toys R Us starting at $10.
But is the extra expense justified? Do young children like Lammily dolls better than that conventional dolls? By way of evidence that they do, Lamm has produced a YouTube video of a “field test” he conducted at an elementary school in Pittsburgh, where second graders appear to respond enthusiastically to his creation.
Best of all, news of the Lammily dolls comes just in time for Christmas — at least for families that still celebrate that holiday.
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