Whenever I go to the toy store with my daughter, one of my first stops is the Barbie aisle.
Whether they are Disney Princesses or classic Barbies, the dolls take me back to my childhood and a time where my only cares were make-believe and happily-ever-after.
During those early years, I didn’t really think about how that Barbie didn’t represent the average woman.
But artist Nickolay Lamm of Pennsylvania did and created a more accurate Barbie to help with young girls’ self-image.
Lamm made a 3D model of a Barbie representative of the average 19-year-old woman. He used Photoshop to add color and packaging.
If the original Barbie were a real woman, she would have an 18-inch waist while Lamm’s model boasts a 33-inch waist, smaller head, thicker neck, and shorter legs. Real-girl Barbie even has a booty. She looks good.
But does it matter what Barbie looks like? Does Barbie really negatively impact a little girl’s self-esteem?
As a child, I was a thin and mousy blonde, but even I knew I didn’t look like a Barbie doll. I didn’t want to. The point of Barbie wasn’t for me to emulate her. She taught me how to imagine and pretend.
My best friend and I would play Barbies in her basement, dividing them into heroes and villains. (She-Ra would often join in on the wars.) Sometimes Barbie and her friends would play school or have fashion shows. When she felt like hanging out with the boys, she would go out with Ken or GI-Joe, but she wasn’t tied down.
Skinny Barbie had time for her kid sister, Skipper. Blonde bombshell Barbie eventually had a rebellious phase when I chopped off all her hair into a stylish pixie cut.
I bought my 2-year-old daughter her first Barbie for Easter this year. She plays with her like any other toy, never wanting to dress like her, but she will undress her and try to put her in less attractive, non-evening gown types of clothes.
Barbie doesn’t seem to mind. She’s her own girl, just like me, just like my daughter.
Dolls don’t teach us to feel good or bad about ourselves. Good parenting and open communication teach our children more about self-worth than Mattel or Lamm ever could — no waist measurements needed.
Photos by Nickolay Lamm of MyDeals.com
Photos by Nickolay Lamm of MyDeals.com.