Watch children react to ‘normal Barbie’ with acne, stretch marks

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It began for Nickolay Lamm as a question: What would Barbie look like if she had the dimensions of an average woman?

His answer came in the form of the Lammily doll: a shorter, broader, brunette version of the idealistic blond Mattel doll.

Now Lammily is ready to make her debut, complete with a sticker pack that features pimples, moles, cellulite and scars that can be applied.

“I feel she looks so real, so ordinary, that you don’t focus on what she looks like but … on what she does,” he said by telephone on Wednesday.

That perspective helped propel Lamm’s crowd-funding effort to build the doll.

The 26-year-old toy maker said the dolls will be mailed to his crowd-funding backers no later than Black Friday, the traditional kickoff for holiday shopping. Thousands more, which were preordered, will also be shipped before the holidays, he said.

Here’s what you need to know about Lamm and the doll:

Germ of an idea

It began in 2013, when Lamm began playing with the idea of what Barbie would look like as an average woman.

But what were those dimensions? He got the answer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (For the record, the CDC says the average American woman weighs 166.2 pounds and has a 37.5 inch waist.)

The initial version of the doll was an art project of sorts, with Lamm creating a model of the average woman and doing a side-by-side comparison with Barbie.

The response to the project was overwhelming, with even actress and singer Demi Lovato taking to Twitter to call Lamm’s doll “awesome.”

The response in turn prompted Lamm’s crowd-funding effort to create the doll. He raised nearly $100,000 in a single day, and within 30 days he had raised more than $500,000.

Average is beautiful

The doll, with its wide hips, thick legs and rounded rump, goes against the concept of the perfect figure.

“The message I want to send is that it’s not what you look like. That doesn’t define you. What you do does,” he said.

Lamm said he took inspiration for the doll from his own experience in high school, which he described as the “worst time in my life.”

“I really cared about how I looked, and I didn’t feel good about myself,” he said.

Acne and a clothing line

Billed as Lammily Marks, the $5.99 accessory pack will be on sale in January.

The idea, Lamm said, is two-fold: Realism and innovation.

People have acne, tattoos, moles and scars, he said.

While realism is an issue, Lamm said to grow the fledgling company there also has to be innovation.

“You have to be one step ahead,” he said.

Part of the step also includes launching a doll clothing line, dubbed Lammily’s World of Fashion.

Down the road, Lamm said he plans to release a boy doll. Eventually, he said he would like to follow the Build-A-Bear Workshop model, where children could design their own Lammily dolls with custom features.

What’s in a name?

The doll is not named Lammily. Rather, Lamm said, that’s the name of the company.

“With the name, I combined by my Lamm and family,” he said.

A number of his family members have played a role in helping him develop the doll, including creating the box and the stickers.

So, what’s the doll’s name? Whatever you want it to be, Lamm said.

The dolls come with a numbered passport that allows you to name the doll. Lamm said the company website will eventually include a database where people can register the name of their doll.

What does Mattel have to say?

Nothing at the moment. Mattel did not return a telephone call from CNN seeking comment about the doll.

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10 comments

  • Nancy

    I heard the remarks when they came out with the Rosie doll. I bought one for my granddaughter and she liked her. There were others who were not kind about the heavier doll. Not because it was Rosie but because she was heavy. People seek the perfection they lack in themselves.

  • Kelley

    “The message I want to send is that it’s not what you look like. That doesn’t define you. What you do does,” he said. If That truly didn’t matter, why all the out cry that Barbie ‘looks’ unrealistic?

  • Aaliyah

    This doll is perfect. She doesn’t look like a model but someone you would see on an everyday basis like and teacher or a doctor even your neighbor.

    Today little girls are feeling the need to be ‘perfect’ as in a skinny model with make up but the Lammily doll shows you can be wide and beautiful too so I give this doll a two thumbs up

  • Barbie

    I still like barbie over any other dolls and I’m sure you only put the kids with the positive comments about lamely. Mabye have a poll?

  • kathy

    for a fair comparison they should have used a barbie with equal articulation
    i think the lammily doll is unnecessary and more for parents than it is for kids

  • Joan Vargas

    As a larger woman myself this made me cry! As a society look at the innocence of children at this age, they do not see negatives of a larger person but growing up hearing adults talk negatively about larger people or hearing them cut people down for their looks instills that attitude of what was once innocent and pure and turns it into ugly and turns kids into bullies….oh out of the mouths of babes….a real eye opener!

  • Tony

    I would like to see the manufacturers take this another step and have dolls with removable limbs, wheelchairs, walking sticks etc. to give children an even more realistic view of the human race. I would hope this would lead to greater understanding of people in general and would prevent children from having to ‘confront’ disability issues, which are often met with confusion, fear and mocking as a reflex to the unknown. I am pleased this doll has been made, I hope this is the beginning of a new trend, which will also filter onto catwalks and into shop window displays (no more super-skinny mannequins).

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