Nickolay Lamm set out to create a fashion doll that was shaped like an actual human being rather than some sort of freakish Barbie-like rendering of a woman that could never exist in nature. In March, Lamm launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to actually make the dolls, which he calls Lammily. Now, he’s putting them to the test and in the hands of students at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania private school to see just how this realistic doll would be received. Get ready to have your faith restored in humanity because it turns out the kids loved her.
“She’s really unique,” one girl said. “I don’t have other dolls like this. It looks real.” So real that the kids imagined her doing real-life activities and having real jobs; teaching, swimming and surfing. They also noted the physicality of the doll — Lammily’s feet allow her to actually stand, a far cry from Barbie’s (admittedly delicious) feet, locked in a perma-tiptoe stance. As one boy so eloquently put it, “The toes…they’re not like, a bunch of bumps.”
The kids seemed to really pick up on the Lammily doll’s realistic nature and their responses illustrated that. One girl mentioned that Lammily looks like she would help people, another said the doll looked like her sister. Next to Barbie, Lammily seemed more accessible and more relatable to the kids, who probably don’t yet understand the body image issues that arise from ultra thin and disproportionate dolls like Barbie. They assigned Lammily with a more caring, human-like nature, which makes sense, considering she’s supposed to be built like an actual person.
Lammily has a real-girl figure, but much like many women IRL, she does not skimp on the fashion front. You can dress her in seven different outfits, all inspired by different cities. The jet-setting Lammily has a look for a night out in Barcelona, a trip to Paris, two plaid looks for excursions in both London and Scotland, a colorful maxi dress for touring Rio, plus several others.
And if human-like proportions weren’t real enough, you can also purchase “Lammily Marks” for your doll, which are stickers that allow you to add imperfections to your doll — bruises, freckles, beauty marks…but also cellulite, acne and stretch marks. Yep, they really took the “real girl” theme and ran with it, though we’re not sure little girls need to learn about cellulite. Seems a bit advanced for a toy meant for kids three and up.
Lammily’s only drawback is that she doesn’t come in a wide range of ethnicities. There is only one white, brunette model available, but we’re hoping the line expands to include a more diverse selection. It would be nice to see a Chinese doll, an Aboriginal Lammily, a half-black and Japanese version — the possibilities are limitless and it seems Lamm was pretty keen on making the doll body-positive and inclusive, so it would only make sense to provide a wide range of ethnicities, or at least ones that go beyond the traditional black, white, Latina and limited Asian options.
But for now, we’ve got the one Lammily, hopefully paving the way for other companies to release realistic toys. The dolls are available right now on the Lammily website for $25, which is admittedly pricey (Barbie dolls start at around $6), but think of it as an investment toward growing up body-positive.