When Barbie -- the iconic doll that debuted in 1959 -- celebrates her 55th birthday on March 9, a lot of us will be cheering about something else: The creation of a "normal Barbie," aka Lammily. Last summer, artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm showed us what a doll based on measurements of an average 19-year-old woman would look like. Today, that digital fantasy is actually ready for production. And in just the past few days, since debuting his project, Lamm has raised $236,231 to cover the costs of tooling, molding, and to meet the manufacturer's minimum order quantity. In turn, it's looking like a beautiful, "average"-looking doll is actually going to be available for girls to purchase! Amazing!
Still, we can't help but have some Qs for the man behind the doll. Nickolay spoke with us about his motivation for making Lammily, what the reaction has been so far, and more ...
How did you come up with the name "Lammily"?
This was a family project, from the Lamm family. So I combined it to get Lammily. I also wanted it to stand out from any other doll brand name. Because Lammily is just the brand name, each doll will come with a passport so that girls can name it whatever they want.
Why do you think a lot of moms are buzzing about your doll as opposed to others that have been considered the "anti-Barbie"? What is it about your doll that you think resonates?
I'm not trying to be anti-Barbie. I think Lammily is an alternative that people have been waiting for. And, now that it's here, people are excited.
Are you a father? If not, what was your inspiration for doing taking your 3-D model to the next level?
I'm not a dad, but I do have a lot of young cousins. After my original project, I got a lot of requests to make a doll like this an actual product. I also read nearly every Internet comment, including those on CafeMom, and the overall sentiment was positive. People liked the design of the body, and I put that into Lammily.
It's so interesting to see a man doing this. Are women surprised that you are interested in our body image? Or has anyone taken offense at the idea that a man feels he has the right to attempt this?
I think feeling insecure or inadequate is something all people feel at times. And, I thought to myself, "If I can feel like this sometimes, I can't imagine what women have to go through, because they are subject to much higher beauty standards than men!" So, "real Barbie" was my way of showing them that you can have an average, typical body and still be beautiful. Who you naturally are, that is beautiful. It's kind of like a sunset, it comes in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, but it's always beautiful no matter what. People are sometimes surprised it's a man doing this, but I don't think anybody's taken offense.
For some reason, girls love the original Barbie. How have kids reacted to Lammily?
Girls who I showed the design to say that she looks real, sweet, and inviting. They like her. Girls just want a cool and fun doll to play with, and future marketing will focus on that rather than body image. I want Lammily to last for many years, and I'm very aware that its future depends on girls wanting to play with her, not them being forced to play with her.
Below, more images of the doll, as well as a video Lamm has created to explain Lammily ...
Would you purchase a Lammily doll -- why or why not? What do you find the most intriguing or surprising about Nickolay's motivation for making Lammily?
Images via Lammily.com