Beauty is more than skin deep for ‘normal Barbie’

lammily stretch marks

Cellulite, acne, freckles, bruises, tattoos and realistic body proportions – welcome to the new “normal Barbie”.

Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm is taking on Mattel, and traditional Barbies, with his Lammily dolls modelled on the average US woman.


Last year, Lamm attracted global attention after he his project that compared Barbie to typical body proportions. He found the demand for “normal”-shaped dolls so high that he launched a crowdfunding campaign in March. More than 13,600 backers pre-ordered more than 19,000 dolls.

His project has now become a reality, with the first dolls ready to ship out next week.

Lammily sitches

The 28cm dolls – a smidgen shorter than Barbie – have the body of the average 19-year-old US woman, natural make-up and a casual, sporty wardrobe. There’s an add-on “Marks” sticker pack that kids can use to give their dolls acne, cellulite, stretch marks, tattoos, scars, bruises, freckles, mosquito bites, glasses, stitches, casts and grass and dirt stains.

Clothing packs for the dolls will be available from January, and include outfits inspired by fashion in New York, Rio de Janeiro, Denmark, Scotland, Paris, “rocking” London and Barcelona evening wear. Lammily is billed as “the first fashion doll made according to typical human body proportions to promote realistic beauty standards”.

lammily freckles

“I feel that, right now, dolls are very ‘perfect’ looking, when, in real life, few of us have perfect skin,” Lamm tells The Huffington Post. “So, why not give dolls a ‘real treatment?’ Things like acne, stretch marks, and cellulite are a natural part of who we are.”

Lammily’s website says the maker plans to extend the line next year to various races and body types. It has produced this video to show how its doll compares with Barbie:

It’s not the first time someone has toyed with our traditional perception of one of the world’s most popular dolls. Earlier this year, photographer Katie Moore produced a series on “home-birth Barbie“, showing typical labour and breastfeeding scenes with partner Ken, their daughter and a midwife. Even Mattel got in on the “empowered” Barbie action, releasing Entrepreneur Barbie as its Career of the Year doll. For more on this iconic doll, check out our Barbie archives.

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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