Lammily’s message: Average is beautiful

average-Lammily-doll-300x200Lammily, the brainchild (or doll) of designer Nickolay Lamm, was inspired by a simple question: What if fashion dolls were made using standard human body proportions. Frustrated with the dearth of realistically proportioned dolls and the abundance of divas and princesses on the market, Lamm launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring a different kind of doll to life.

And Lammily was born. At 11 inches, she measures a bit shorter than her fashion doll cousins. She’s also stockier—and more likely to resemble a real child.

Like many real children, Lamm dreamt of an ideal body as a teenager. “Back in high school, I starved myself and exercised to exhaustion to have a set of six-pack abs. After achieving my desired BMI, I looked and felt terrible.”

His cousin, a muscular competitive athlete, struggled with body image as well. The idea behind Lammily is to help kids see that it’s OK to be true to yourself.

“Our studies suggest that adolescents are very influenced by images in the media,” says Alison Field, ScD, from the Boston Children’s Hospital Adolescent Medicine Division. “Young children do not have the cognitive maturity to realize that dolls such as Barbie have a wildly distorted body shape.”

Lammily-doll-with-stitches-300x161In addition to resembling kids’ realistic proportions, Lammily can be customized with Lammily Marks. These stick-on scars, cellulite and acne let kids remake Lammily in their image. “I would have loved this when I was younger,” says Ellie, a 17-year old with an 8-inch surgical scar on her right leg. “It might have normalized my scar.”

Parents looking for a more realistically proportioned doll for their daughters may want to consider American Girl dolls, Sophia or Corelle, in addition to Lammily. “They are child dolls and therefore I think more appropriate for young children. There is nothing sexual about them, and they do not have distorted physiques,” says Field.

Boston Children’s Adolescent Medicine Division treats children with body images issues as well as those with eating disorders.

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