Social Issues July 3, 2013
Artist Recreates Barbie To Look Like An Average Woman

A Barbie doll with Lamm's "real-life" version (Photo: Nickolay Lamm)

The question has been asked many times: if a real woman had the dimensions of a Barbie doll, could she be healthy? And could she even stand up?

Answers vary, according to this BBC story: some experts say she would have to walk on all fours because she couldn't hold herself upright; one study from the University of South Australia found that about one in 100,000 women is actually born with Barbie's proportions.

But one thing's for sure: the average woman doesn't look much like a Barbie doll.

That's the point that artist Nickolay Lamm makes with his "real life" version of Barbie.

Using data from the Centres for Disease Control, he based his doll on the real measurements of an average 19-year-old girl in the U.S.: a 32-inch chest, 31-inch waist and 33-inch hips.

A side view of the two dolls (Photo: Nickolay Lamm)

A life-sized Barbie, by contrast, would have measurements of 36-18-33.

Lamm says he has faced some criticism over his reinterpretation of the doll.

"People argue that a toy can't do any harm," he said. "However, if we criticize skinny models, we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls as well."

A Barbie doll with Lamm's "real-life" version (Photo: Nickolay Lamm)
Both dolls in their packaging (Photo: Nickolay Lamm)

He points out that his version of the doll "looks pretty good in the pictures I produced," a sentiment echoed by Tess Duncan of Bust magazine:

"The 'real-life' Barbie looks damn fine to me. She's got a nice butt and generally looks healthier, IMHO," Duncan wrote.

Via Bust


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