Artist Shows What Barbie Dolls Might Look Like if Based on Actual Women [Gallery]

Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm created a 3D model of Barbie if she had the proportions of an average 19-year-old woman.

  • Photo: Nickolay LammPhoto: Nickolay Lamm
  • Photo: Nickolay LammPhoto: Nickolay Lamm
  • Photo: Nickolay LammPhoto: Nickolay Lamm
  • Photo: Nickolay LammPhoto: Nickolay Lamm
  • Photo: Nickolay LammPhoto: Nickolay Lamm
  • Photo: Nickolay LammPhoto: Nickolay Lamm
  • Photo: Nickolay LammPhoto: Nickolay Lamm

In her 54 years, the leggy blonde that is Barbie has inspired love, controversy and even imitation.

From her outrageously tiny waist to her unfeasibly long legs, the world’s most famous doll has long been the target of criticism from feminists and other women’s groups who say it promotes an unhealthy idea of body image in girls.

Several artists have set about proving the public’s claim by scaling the iconic doll up to human size, to reveal her unrealistic measurements compared to the average human girl.

Artist Nickolay Lamm, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, created a Barbie doll modeled off the average American 19-year-old woman. To generate a prototype of a “normal” Barbie he used CDC measurements and found that it was quite different than the classic Barbie.

With the measurements he made a 3D version of the doll and with some Photoshop magic, he transformed the 3D model into what looks like an actual Barbie doll.

“I wanted to see if an average-sized Barbie had market potential,” Lamm, 24, explained.

In his previous research, Lamm found that, scaled up to human size, Barbie dolls would have unrealistic measurements of 36-18-33, compared with the typical 19-year-old girl’s 32-31-33.

The average woman, meanwhile, has 38 inch back, a 34 inch waist and hips that measure 40 inches around, and Lamm’s work shows that Barbie looks a lot more natural with these measurements, writes the Daily Mail.

“I feel there’s a good chance Barbie negatively affects young girls’ body image,” he said. “If skinny models get so much criticism, shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility that Barbie affects a young girl’s self-image?”

In April, some website published a chart illustrating how anatomically impossible it would be for Barbie to exist in real life. With her extreme proportions, she would be forced to walk on all fours and incapable of carrying anything in her skeletal arms.

Lamm said he has faced many angry responses to his project since “Barbie is just a toy.”

“A lot of people say we shouldn’t criticise Barbie because she is a toy,” Lamm explained. “However, if there’s a small chance that it’s negatively affecting young girls, and if normal Barbie looks awesome, why not create normal Barbie?”

In fact, Lamm says he thinks, his version looks “even better than Barbie in its present form”.

“I’m pretty pleased with how the normal model looks and was personally surprised by how well she turned out,” the artist said.

Lamm believes that Barbie Dolls can promote body issues in young women. To counteract this, Lamm has created a few pieces to show Barbie as a regular woman. Earlier this year, he unveiled a Barbie Doll without makeup.

The 24-year-old Lamm is an artist and researcher from Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 from the College of Business Administration.

He says he has “always loved to draw” and seeks to “combine art and research together to create compelling illustrations.”

“Each blog post I make takes around 1-4 weeks to create. I feel very fortunate to make a living doing what I love to do.”

Share This article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.