Long before every magazine cover was photoshopped, little girls were learning impossible ideals of what a woman’s body “should” look like from their favorite doll, Barbie. Even as Mattel has tried to make their dolls more PC- with ranges of hair colors and skin tones (though black Barbie still had Caucasian features), Share a Smile Becky- a friend in a wheel chair, and prestigious careers like Dr. Barbie, her proportions remain sickly. If the average Barbie were 5’9″, she would weigh 110lbs, with a BMI too low for menstruation, and her measurements would be 36-18-33. Even “Human Barbie Doll” Valeria Lukyanova doesn’t quite meet that standard at 34.5-18-34.5 and she is far from “normal” looking. Nickolay Lamm shows just how crazy this ideal is by creating a 3D model of the average 19 year old woman and placing it beside a Barbie doll.
The 24 year old artist and researcher from Pittsburgh photographed the 3D model next to a real Barbie Doll and used Photoshop to make her look like a Barbie. It turns out realistic Barbie does not look bad at all! In a country where 40% of 9 & 10 year old girls have been on a diet to lose weight and over 10 million people are suffering from eating disorders (source) what would be the harm in having dolls that help foster a healthy body image instead?