Body Image

Average is Beautiful: Meet the ‘Real-Girl’ Barbie Doll


What if Barbie were just an average girl in a Barbie world? What if America’s favorite little doll actually looked like its consumers, instead of a plastic version of perfection? These what-ifs have been bounced (ineffectively) around for years, until someone finally decided to take the topic into his own hands.

Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm of first challenged the perception of artificial beauty by creating a real-girl Barbie doll. “I think Barbie symbolizes unrealistic beauty standards, not just in dolls, but in movies, magazines, the media—everywhere,” explains Lamm. “So I asked myself, what would Barbie look like if she were a real woman?” To get his answer, Lamm used measurements of an average 19-year-old girl from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to form a blank 3-D model, then Photoshopped the model to create a Barbie with a real body. “When I got the white model, I thought, there’s no way this can ever look like a Barbie doll,” says Lamm, “but once I Photoshopped it, I was surprised by how real Barbie can look.”

He recently took “real” a step further with a new line of stickers. Instead of the sparkly, floral stickers Barbie is used to, she can now have acne, stretch marks, and freckles, like the rest of us! In the words of Lamm himself, “average is beautiful.” We whole-heartedly agree. Check out some of the stickers, below.


Stretch Marks
stretch marks