Now he’s raising money to give ‘Normal Barbie’ a ‘Normal Ken’
Nickolay Lamm launched a realistically proportioned fashion doll in 2014 to combat unhealthy body image issues among the Barbie generation. Two years on, he’s raising funds for a male doll, in light of male body dysmorphia.
To children under 11 today, Barbie is very different from the original blonde-haired, blue-eyed plastic paragon of beauty it was in 1959. Despite introducing seven different skin tones, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles, Barbie still gets a lot of flack for propagating, if not enhancing existing body consciousness in young women. A crowdfunded rival to the world famous fashion doll, the Lammily doll, is far more ‘average’, according to its creator, Nickolay Lamm. Proportioned to match the average measurements of 19-year old American women, with customisable traits like freckles and cellulite, this doll made the headlines two years ago.
Now Lamm is propelling a new crowdfunding campaign to create ‘the world’s first realistically proportioned male doll’ based on the proportions of the average 19-year-old man.
On the first day of the campaign, backers of the new Lammily doll raised $18,000, 25 per cent of the $70,000 crowdfunding target.
“He may not have a six-pack, but he has a fantastic sense of humour”
According to Lamm, his new doll prototype “may not have the biggest biceps, but he has a big heart. He may not look like a runway model, but he values himself for who he truly is, and always makes sure to pay the same respect to others.”
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) defines body dysmorphia as an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and in the UK, one in every 100 people – close to 650,000 – suffer from a warped sense of their appearance. The ugly truth remains that sufferers rarely believe they have a mental issue; just that they are ugly.
To spotlight the body image issues men contend with on the pages of magazines and most blockbuster movie, Lamm’s dolls are based on research and 3D modelling. He says his dolls are meant to show that real bodies are beautiful. After he launched the female Lammily in 2014, he started to get requests for a male version. Whether this doll makes it into the mainstream remains to be seen.