Barbie debuted 63 years ago in 1959 at a Toy Fair. She was a beautiful doll. Now, she has been redesigned by Nickolay Lamm, a Pittsburgh artist, to have an “average” body. It may be more believable, but I don’t like it. Mattel doesn’t either.
Lamm said, “If Barbie looks good as an average woman and even there’s a small chance of Barbie influencing young girls, why can’t we come out with an average sized doll? Average is beautiful.” The changes he makes are not only to Barbie’s body; he also rids her of her makeup. He’s edging from “average” Barbie to “not even pretty” Barbie.I predict lower than average sales if he tries to market the doll.
I grew up with Barbies, and so did my daughters. We all loved dressing them up and living the dream that she represented. Is it really that different from authors creating beautiful, intelligent, talented characters? I don’t think so. We all need our dreams and very few of us aspire to be average.