Drawing inspiration from Tim Piper's iconic "Evolution of Beauty" commercial for Dove, this doll undergoes a similar photo editing process to that of most images of women in media. This video raises the question of how toys can shape our self-perception, and offers an alternative to that damaging mindset.

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Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm noticed that the traditional fashion dolls that dominate the market have incredibly skewed bodily proportions and was curious about what a doll with a more realistic body type would look like in comparison. He visited the Center For Disease Control's website to look up the measurements of the average 19-year-old American woman, then rendered a 3D image of a doll based on his findings. After the model was printed, he painted it to resemble a traditional fashion doll and placed his version next to the one currently on the market. The difference between the two was jarring and displayed just how warped the fashion dolls are in relation to real women's bodies. 

Lamm's project attracted international media attention, and "Average Barbie" became a desirable product in the marketplace. With the help of a crowdfunding campaign and consultation with Mattel, Lamm has been able to manufacture the first edition of this doll, named Lammily, ready to ship out on November 28, 2014. Lammily is based off of the same model from the original rendering, but she has articulated joints to promote a healthy, active lifestyle. She also wears minimal makeup and simpler clothing, encouraging a more realistic and relatable lifestyle than that of a traditional fashion doll.

As young women are confronted with unrealistic standards of beauty, Lammily aims to recapture some of the self-confidence lost when girls see unattainable ideals. While dolls are not the only culprit in causing negative body image, they still help shape a young girl's self-perception as they provide a tangible point of comparison between their own bodies and an idealized one. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, approximately 40-60% of girls aged 6-12 are dissatisfied with their current weight or are concerned about being fat. With the perpetuation of distorted images of women in the media, feelings of inadequacy are hardly surprising, even among girls that young. The NEDA website also states that "70% [of a sample of 1000 American adults that participated in a survey] believe encouraging the media and advertisers to use more average sized people in their advertising campaigns would reduce or prevent eating disorders." Maybe, if the prevalent images in the media are more realistic, these young women will feel less pressure to conform to the current idealized and impossible body that inundates our screens and consciousness today.

Watch the video to see Lammily's "transformation" and let us know what you think about this new body-positive doll. Would you purchase one?