Meet Lammily, the doll whose “Average is beautiful” campaign has already raised over $400,000 in 7 days through Crowdtilt, with 23 days left to go. Creator Nikolay Lamm was only asking for $95,000 to start production on the dolls, so then how Lammily earned so much so fast? Easy: contributions of $25 or more earn you a preordered doll. Clearly, the doll has found a market for itself.
Nikolay Lamm explains on his Crowdtilt page that Lammily began as a question: “What if Fashion Dolls Were Made Using Standard Human Body Proportions?” Nikolay then redesigned Barbie to the proportions of an average woman and placed the image next to a standard Barbie for comparison. In an interview with the Examiner Lamm stated, “I wanted to promote a healthy body image when I created the ‘Normal Barbie.'”
The need for Lammily’s message of a healthy body image is as plain as Barbie’s giraffe-like neck in the US. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), up to 24 million people of all ages suffer from an eating disorder. With 95% of those who have eating disorders being between the ages of 12 and 25.8, body image influences on children are a special concern. Body image problems can also show up in more subtle ways, such as low self esteem and depression. Yet Mattel defends Barbie’s unrealistic measurements despite her negative influence on little girls. Mattel also offers a plus size doll who is grossly obese. Parents who are aware of such issues can appreciate the need for a doll like Lammily, who sports a healthy, attainable figure.
When Lamm first created “Normal Barbie,” he didn’t realize the scope of appeal for a doll of average proportions. “Normal Barbie” captured the imagination of the public and blitzed through the news. Lamm continued in his Examiner interview that “…I had no idea it would garner as much press attention as it did. The popularity of this project showed that people like that kind of body in a doll.”
Many people began asking where they could get a doll like “Normal Barbie,” and with Lammily, Nikolay Lamm plans to deliver: “Rather than waiting for toy companies to change their designs, let’s change them ourselves by creating a fashion doll that promotes realistic beauty standards.” Lamm hopes to expand the production line to include other body types and races, and after the resounding success of Lammily’s fundraising, he may just get that chance.
According to Nikolay Lamm’s Crowdtilt website, the Lammily project was successfully funded in a mere 24 hours. Preordered dolls are expected to arrive November, 2014.