July 3, 2013 at 4:56 PM ET
Meet “normal” Barbie: She’s not impossibly tall and skinny, but instead created in the proportions of the average 19-year-old American woman.
Using a 3-D model, Photoshop and the Centers for Disease Control’s measurements of the average 19-year-old woman, artist Nickolay Lamm of MyDeals.com has created a rendering of what a Barbie doll would look like if it better resembled an average woman. He used the CDC measurements to make a 3-D model, dressed it up like a Barbie using Photoshop, then photographed a standard Barbie doll next to his model to show the difference.
“I created normal Barbie because I wanted to show that average is beautiful,’’ Lamm wrote in an email to TODAY.com. “If average-looking Barbie looks this good and if there's even a chance of Barbie negatively influencing young girls, why not make one?”
Lamm noted that there can be “different interpretations” of what is considered an “average’’ body type, but that using the CDC measurements makes his creation “pretty close.’’
He writes in his post on MyDeals.com that “some people say that we shouldn’t pay attention to the body proportions of Barbie because she is just a toy.” However, he then cites research suggesting Barbie may lead to heightened body dissatisfaction among young girls, unhealthy eating behaviors, and a desire to eat less in order to achieve a slim body.
Created with a 3-D printer, “normal’’ Barbie has also drawn some attention for having a bigger backside than the standard Barbie. Singer Demi Lovato, who has been an advocate of preventing eating disorders in young girls, tweeted her approval of Lamm’s proportions to her more than 15 million followers.
Lamm wouldn't mind if the dolls went from beyond the prototype stage to an actual product sold in stores.
“If normal Barbie can be made, I feel she'll have a more positive influence on girls than Barbie in its current form,’’ he wrote. “Normal Barbie shows that you are beautiful, just the way you are.”