They gave each kid a Barbie and a doll with real proportions. What they say next really says it all.
Barbie's supposed to be the "all-American girl" with the amazing wardrobe, perfect boyfriend, a million careers, and the dream house every girl wants. But when you compare her to the average American woman, things don't quite measure up. So an artist decided to create a doll modeled after the average American teenager, and the results are pretty amazing.
What's wrong with Barbie?
Well, for one thing, her body dimensions are completely unrealistic. For a school project on eating disorders, college student Galia Slayen took Barbie's measurements and created a life-size version that is disturbing to say the least.
Barbie's unnatural body dimensions inspired Nickolay Lamm.
Artist Nickolay Lamm had the idea to create a new doll based on the dimensions of the average American teenager. He hoped that by creating a toy with a more realistic body type, it might help make kids feel better about themselves.
He took his concept for Lammily, the "average" doll, to Kickstarter in March 2014 to crowdfund the idea. The project quickly went viral, raising over $100,000 in just a few days. In November 2014, Nickolay took one of the first finished Lammily dolls to a local elementary school to see what children would think of her in comparison to the traditional Barbie doll.
What did second-graders have to say about Lammily?
Then the kids were asked a series of questions about Lammily and Barbie.
"Which doll looks most like you?"
"What job would Lammily have?"
"What job would Barbie have?"
Pretty powerful stuff right? For me, the way they answered the jobs question really stood out to me. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think conventionally beautiful or thin women aren't smart or deserve to be judged on their looks. But these children's comments are symptomatic of the messages our society perpetuates about beauty, intelligence, and body image. And that's precisely the problem.
This just goes to show that it's so important that kids have a variety of diverse and realistic representations of people in order to develop healthy body image and self esteem. That's why it's so awesome that a doll like Lammily exists. I can only hope other toy makers will take note and we'll see more diverse and realistic dolls for our kids to play with in the near future!
Take a look at what the other second-graders had to say about Lammily along with a special behind-the-scenes Lammily photo shoot below. And if you think kids deserve more realistic dolls like Lammilly, consider sharing this post!