I have to admit that as a child, I was a Barbie girl. Not the “I have two Barbie dolls that I love so much” kind of girl. I was the Limited Edition, Holiday, Spice Girl, “Clueless,” Power Ranger, Malibu Barbie-collecting kind of Barbie girl. Basically, I was your typical ’90s girl. I was serious about my Barbie game, which was obvious as soon as you stepped into my parent’s “guest room,” which doubled as my Barbie sanctuary. I loved anything and everything Barbie. But I have to say that as I grew up playing with these dolls, there were points when I thought that one day I would have her body. I had this image in my mind that she was the ideal woman. As puberty hit and I started getting real curves, I knew I would have to let go of my preconceived notion of Barbie equaling what I thought I was supposed to look like. And even if I didn’t have a wine obsession (got to love empty calories) I would never look like those Barbies I once placed so high on a pedestal. Honestly, nobody does without some serious and highly unrecommended plastic surgery. We’ve all seen that Ukrainian “real life Barbie,” no thanks. Let’s be real here: Barbie’s body proportions are insanely impractical, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Last summer, news on artist Nickolay Lamm went viral when he released to the public what Barbie would look like if she had the CDC measurements of a typical 19-year-old’s body. Now, after receiving a lot of press and support for his realistically proportioned doll, which celebrates how “average is beautiful,” Lamm has plans to get this positive image provoker out on the shelves. But according to TIME, not everyone is as happy about the questions Lamm’s “average” doll poses toward Barbie–specifically, Barbie’s lead designer, Kim Culmone.
“In a recent interview with Fast Company, Barbie lead designer Kim Culmone vigorously defended the dolls ridiculous measurements, arguing not only that it wasn’t responsible for instilling negative body images in young girls but also that it was necessary to get clothes on and off the doll’s body with ease. ‘I’ve heard that argument before but I find it odd,’ Lamm said. ‘There are female action figures who are full bodied, and clothes fit fine.’”
Sorry I’m not sorry, but I have to call total BS on that statement as well. All I know is that I’m really excited Lamm wants to put his doll to good use. I’m even more excited that the former vice president of manufacturing at Mattel Robert Rambeau is aiding Lamm in finding the best manufacturers to get the doll made and distributed properly. So here’s to bettering the female body image at a young age, because as hard as it is to admit, a 36-18-33 figure at 5 foot 9 is just not going to happen.