Lammily? I Am Still Waiting For Middle Age Barbie!
Breaking News... Barbie Has A Pimple!
Have you heard? There is a new Barbie in town, and she is making quite a splash in the media. She is not like the other Barbies; all slender and unblemished... Nope, this one is just like you and me. She is imperfect and flawed with acne scars and cellulite to prove it. That's right kids, meet the newest player in the imaginative gene pool —Lammily!
The Normal Barbie
According to Nicoklay Lamm; the designer of what he calls, "The Normal Barbie," Lammily is an alternative to the market-dominating dolls that have unrealistic beauty standards." He goes on to say, "Toy giants aren't going to be changing their designs any time soon, so why wait. Lammily is fit and strong; promoting a healthy lifestyle and wearing minimal makeup." But why stop there? Why not make her even MORE real by giving her an edge in the reality department?
Oh No... Looks Like This One's Got Rosacea!
Lammily... She's Just As F'd Up As You!
So for a mere $6, you can accent Lammily's average-sized body with cellulite, stretch marks, freckles, acne, glasses, blushing, adhesive bandages, moles and temporary tattoos. But wait... That's not all! These 38 reusable stickers also include stitches, scrapes & scratches, bruises, cast, scars, mosquito bites, grass and dirt stains; making her as perfectly flawed and scarred as the girl next door. Ahhh... Rest easy parents, your child is now free to play without the stigma of a fantastical toy doll that she can never live up to —until she is old enough to read, that is.
The Real Problem Isn't Barbie —It's US!
I have a seven-year-old. She is intelligent, witty, sensitive and beautiful —inside and out! Moreover, she knows the difference between a toy doll and reality. And so does her mother; the odd (wo)man out. I get the whole "let's change the way we view our bodies and stop sending unrealistic messages to our kids" sentiment, but I find it really hard to believe that our problem starts there.
Pretty Sure My Barbie's House Was A Lot Smaller!
Maybe I'm Born With It; Maybe It's BARBIE!
Barbie is a dream world; she is not real. Everything about her is imaginative and impeccable. As children, we used our intelligence to concoct all sorts of inventive scenarios. I remember when Ken and Barbie had a fight, and she booted him out of her dream house for an entire summer! But hey... That was just me. The point is that I knew none of it was real, and I don't remember EVER looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, "Damn, I wish I had her thighs!"
Tiger Beat Ruined Me!
For me, the problem came much later in the form of publication. My drug of choice? Tiger Beat. Everyone was so perfect, so gorgeous and so very REAL! What the hell was wrong with ME? People in magazines don't have pimples or scars on their chin from falling underneath a merry-go-round (thanks a lot, Patrick V. I'll never forgive you for THAT one)! And they most certainly do not have cellulite or, God forbid, pudgy thighs —No siree, Bob! But I'll tell you what they DO have... They have everything I ever wanted and a whole lot more. From their trendsetting wardrobes to their size zero frames; celebrities and models have been toying with our psyche since the dawn of day, or at least since reality went to print.
Dare We Dream?
Back in those days, we didn't know about editing. To us, that shit was REAL. We didn't want to watch Brooke Shields on TV; we wanted to BE her! We wanted those Calvin Klein Jeans, and we wanted them to look the same way on us as they did on her... Unfortunately, that was not always the case. Not by a long shot.
A Struggle To Get The Words Out...
I am older now. I know all about the filters and illusions that are used to sell, sell, SELL more product. It is no secret that botox and surgery have only added to the pressures of unattainable beauty, and everyone knows that page 36 has more airbrushing than Myrtle Beach and Florida combined. So why are we still buying it? Why are we still comparing ourselves to what we see in print? We do it because they are real. They are real people, walking through real streets with real children... And they are spectacular!
You Would Think We Would Learn?!
Even knowing everything we do about editing and manipulation behind the scenes; even after seeing THIS video —we still buy into it. We splurge on fancy wrinkle creams and outrageous lip plumping serums because we truly want to believe we will wake up looking just like the people we see in the headlines. We replace Vogue with US Weekly because we know we have a better chance of finding just ONE bad picture of Jennifer Anniston. And when that doesn't work, we stuff our faces with gluten-free cookies and pray that tomorrow offers different results; an unreachable goal that will never come to fruition.
And all this time, we blamed Barbie.
Life Is Just A Fantasy
The problem as I see it is one that may never go away. It is the catch22 of life, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. The truth is that we like to look at beautiful things. We want the world to be perfect because flawed is all that we are. We fight with our families, stress over finances, break out from the stress and blacken our eyes with insomnia. It seems to me that a fantasy is all we have left to look forward to, even if only for a moment.
How Do We Teach Reality In An Unrealistic World
You can blame the news media, toy manufacturers and everyone in-between, but at the end of the day it is YOU (parents) that need to instill that confidence. How are YOU going to do it?
It's Up To YOU, Parents!
As for the little ones, I feel it is up to us to talk to them about reality versus imagination. Show THEM that photoshop modeling video and let them explore a world that is so riddled with insecurity and self-loathing that we would do just about anything to be anyone other than who we are. Then tell them why they should love who they are; as they are, and show them how to take care of their bodies and minds the way they were intended to be.
Is Change Really Inevitable?
This is not going away anytime soon people. You can alter Barbie, but you cannot alter an entire civilization without the help everyone, and I would bet anything that Hollywood producers and fashion editors all over the world have no intention of changing the way they do business.
So maybe I'll buy the doll; maybe I won't. But I'll tell you one thing... That bitch still has better hair than I ever did!