Did you aim for average?

Barbie logoBarbie 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.

Obviously, "average" Barbie must also be "tacky" Barbie.

Obviously, “average” Barbie must also be “tacky” Barbie.

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.

Really?

Really?

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.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Did you aim for average?

  1. Susan Kaye

    I’m doubtful a doll constructed to be the average will sell much, or inspire anything. The biggest influence on a girl’s body image is how her mother handles body image. Getting Average Barbie for your daughter when you buy all the magazines and pour over the latest diet, fret over all the lines and wrinkles, and snark about who needs a little work is not going to keep darling daughter safe.

    If AVERAGE was what we all aspired to, it would be Charlotte Lucas and Reverend Collins who would be the stars of P&P. Mary Musgrove would be heroine of Persuasion and we’d be cheering for James Benwick to touch her heart. But, hey, that’s all fiction. Right?

    And a big thank you to Robin for carrying the load of the JSI blog for the last weeks.

    Applesauce all around!!

    Like

    Reply
  2. Robin Helm Post author

    We are in agreement. Barbie dolls did not influence my daughters’ body image. They never said, “I want to have a body like Barbie’s.” They did want to wear her clothes.

    Average dolls won’t sell, average music doesn’t sell, and fiction about average people living average lives doesn’t sell. Nobody grows up aspiring to work at McDonald’s. It happens, of course, but it’s not what dreams are made of.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Susan Kaye

    Aspirations (good and bad) are woven into the human soul. It is a gift that we imagine more, better, finer, wider, more generous things when we examine our lives.

    It’s interesting that when I listen to people preach that the machinery of state is the finest and most equal, they always seem to aspire to being more than a cog in the clockwork. They expect a nice desk chair and window at least.

    Like

    Reply

Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s