Lamilly vs. Barbie

I find this idea to be fascinating. I think I agree with what Elizabeth Chin is saying by describing that it is society, not Barbie, that is causing these problems. Thinking back to my childhood, I don’t particularly recall the desire to imitate the looks of Barbie. Barbie phased out of my life as I grew up and it seemed like possibly her qualities also phased out as time went on. The subject of Barbie being an unrealistic figure was introduced to me and I did have a hard time letting that go once I learned about it, however, the author of this article does have a good point in saying that it might not be Barbie that is causing this problem. I can also see the intentions in trying to produce dolls that look more realistic, I know they also have the Barbie-type doll that has tattoos or skin imperfections, however for some reason I also do not know how successful they are. Body image is of course a controversial subject and it must be hard to trace it back to one source. With things like Barbie existing, ho wonder people are uncomfortable and want to accuse Barbie of being as much a part of this issue as “society”.

What can you do with anthropology?

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Barbie has always been infamous for representing the unattainable physical goals placed on girls and women alike. Many dolls have come and go in hopes to combat Barbie’s success, yet none have remained as iconic as Barbie herself. The latest, however, has taken a different approach from the others. The photo in the top left is Lamilly, created by Nickolay Lamm to represent the real, average proportions of a 19-year-old girl. In the article “Why Lamilly Won’t Last”, author Elizabeth Chin expresses her prediction that, much like the others, this doll will not stand a chance against the one and only Barbie.

Her first reason for this belief is that it has already been done with 1991’s Barbie alternative, the “Happy To Be Me” doll. This doll, extremely similar to Lamilly, was a massive failure and very unpopular with the children…

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3 thoughts on “Lamilly vs. Barbie

  1. I really appreciate this article for it’s apparent value but also because i feel like it’s very relevant to my life. As an older brother to 5 sisters (and a brother), I worry for them as they grow up in our current society with all of the social expectations that they must carry. Every way they turn they are being told what to look like, how to act and what types of people they should hangout with; this can be scary for an overprotective, big brother. That being said, I agree with Chin’s analysis of the Lamilly doll (and the other “happy with themselves” dolls that preceded her) in relation to Barbie. Barbie is an icon and, despite her unrealistic proportions, I honestly don’t believe they are the underlining/main problem at hand. The epicenter of the youths’ (not just young girls) self-esteem problem lies within our society. I don’t see any way around dolls/toys that wouldn’t influence the children; whether the doll is realistically shaped, with tattoos and piercings, whether it dresses funny or has acne- children will develop more as a result of tv, music and social media than (what i believe) the dolls/toys they play with when they’re younger ever will.

  2. I agree with the statement that it is society that is causing problems and we can not just blame Barbie but I do not agree with everything said. Barbie has been a popular doll for many years played with by both young girls and boys. Although changing a barbie doll may not fix all of our problems in society dealing with body ideals and pressure to look a certain way, I think it could make a difference. I do agree with the fact that body image problems are not a direct result of Barbie but it provides a reinforcer. For many children, these dolls are a part of their lives and they reinforce that it is better to be unhealthily skinny and impossible beauty is desirable. I do not think saying that the “Happy to Be Me” doll did not work is a valid reason to not try using the Lamilly doll. I think it is a step in the right direction by showing what an average women really looks like. It is a start at teaching kids that Barbies do not represent real people and show them that they should not strive to look like that.

  3. I really enjoyed this post for many reasons. You do an excellent job of giving an anthropological insight. Culturally the “Barbie Image” has become a serious problem among teen age girls. Cross culturally the Lamilly doll will have a very positive effect on teenage girls. This also adds to the hegemonic society because women become objectified by men and are forced to try and fit an unhealthy image. With the Lamilly doll this will perpetuate a healthier image to the media.

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