“Average” Doll Smashes Crowdfunding Goal and Raises Hopes
It’s no secret that change in the way toys are marketed to children – especially girls – is vitally important to me. And I’m happy to admit, that even as I typed that sentence I had to smile with hope. The events of this past year, from the success of the #BraveGirlsWant initiative to the popularity of the STEM learning initiatives aimed at girls, to the attention being garnered by efforts like Miss Representation and the new book Redefining Girly — all have given me hope that change is coming, and soon.
But this story, this very true tale I have to tell is the one that fuels my optimism most. It’s the story of an “average” doll, created and made to the average proportions of a 19-year-old American woman. A doll that was wanted and needed and longed for so much by so many girls and their parents that when its creator reached out for funding help to make the doll, his goal was met, exceeded, and shattered in less than 24 hours. The story is still continuing, but since the project is currently 411% funded, I am guessing it’s going to have a very happy ending.
How did this story start? It started with an artist. Nickolay Lamm, an artist from Pittsburgh, decided early last year to create an “Average” Barbie. He got the measurements and proportions of an average 19-year-old female from the Centers for Disease Control and set about making his model. The photos from the project went viral, and soon Lamm had parents and children begging to know where they could buy one.
The market, the need, and the desire for this doll that no toy companies are making are there. So Lamm decided to serve that market, and he created Lammily, a doll that shows that average is beautiful. See?
(photo: Nickolay Lamm)
Lammily not only has a believable body type, she also has articulated wrists, knees, elbows and feet. So, unlike the doll that inspired her, Lammily can be posed to be active, like a real girl. Lammily is “fit and strong,” says Lamm, and wears minimal makeup. But that doesn’t mean she’s not fashionable, and I agree with Lamm that less is more. Her style sets her apart, Lamm says, because “Her wardrobe isn’t composed of typical clothing for dolls – she is dressed with striking simplicity.”
Even though Lamm’s project is fully funded times four, you can still support it and pre-order a Lammily doll or dolls for the beautiful average girls in your life. I encourage you to hop on over to his website and tell Lamm how happy you are that he’s pursued this project. He has done something others have only dreamt about and called us to action with this: “Rather than waiting for toy companies to change their designs, let’s change them ourselves by creating a fashion doll that promotes realistic beauty standards.”
I like that plan. Let’s do it, shall we?
If you want to hear more of Lammily’s inspiring story, check out this fantastic “Average is Beautiful” video. You won’t regret it!