Lamilly, the new Barbie?

Lamilly is the new “real barbie” that is supposed to embody the look of the average 19 year old teenager. Instead of having the standard blonde hair and blue eyes like the original Barbie, this new and supposedly improved doll has brown hair and brown eyes. Instead of the doll having an outrageously unproportional body, the doll is presented to have a more athletic build.The only unrealistic aspect of this new doll is that the thighs do not touch, whereas most women’s thighs actually touch. There is the questions of whether this doll will be successful in the market, or whether it will face challenges.

Professor Friedman said, “The whole point of Barbie is that she is not real. There’s a real failure of imagination at work when people try to translate Barbie into a ‘real woman.’”(Friedman, 2014). A doll can never represent everyone; it is impossible. So why try to make the doll the impossible? Friedman also talks about how the Lamilly doll is still white, and is not representing different cultures. The doll is proportionally different, but still has the same skin tone. The doll could have been made into many different representations of other cultures but the toy company remained with the basic average white doll.

There is also the question of whether the Barbie doll itself is the one creating all the self-esteem problems. Rather, it is the mainstream culture and the media that provides unrealistic expectations for young girls to follow. As Professor Friedman said; “It’s much too easy to think we can change the self-perception problem by giving girls better toys to play with. What we need to do is change the larger culture in which we all live and struggle…”(Friedman, 2014). Instead of changing the doll’s appearance, the culture in which young women grow up in should be changed.