Speed Reads


Lammily: The newest pretender to the 'normal' Barbie throne


Everybody hates Barbie. Except, presumably, the people snapping up one of Mattel's iconic dolls every three seconds around the world (according to Mattel). There are lots of knocks against Barbie — she's so indecisive she's held 150 careers since 1959! — but by far the biggest is her unrealistically proportioned body. If the large-breasted, thin-waisted doll were a real woman, she wouldn't have enough body fat to menstruate and probably couldn't even walk. Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm is the latest dollmaker to try to unseat Barbie (or at least bring her down a notch) with a "normal" version.

Last August, Lamm created an "Average Barbie," reshaping Mattel's version to conform to the body measurement of a 19-year-old girl, according to CDC statistics. Now he's trying to commercialize the concept with Lammily, a sporty brunette. All he needs is about $95,000 in crowdsourced funds to make an initial batch of 5,000 Lammily dolls. Maybe he will succeed in toppling the statuesque Barbie where others have failed.

Look, I understand the concern about female body image. But try extending the "normal" Barbie premise to other areas of popular culture: What Ford F-150 could compete with a Transformer; what boy compares favorably with Harry Potter?