I, for one, am baffled that anyone has sex with women at all.
Just kidding! She’s totally cute!
Artist Nickolay Lamm, who previously created “clean-faced” Barbies intended to look makeup-free, has gotton even more ambitious with his most recent conceptual Barbie project. Using the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s measurements of an average 19-year-old woman, he has created a Barbie shaped like an actual person. Declaring, “we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls,” Lamm taps into a can of worms that’s been debated in parenting and feminist circles forever—when children use play to learn, is there really such thing as “just a doll?”
On some level, hyper-realistic dolls are a bit silly anyways, since anyone who’s ever been around kids will admit you can draw a smiley face on a jar of pickles and they’ll play with it like a doll. In many parts of the world, dolls don’t attempt the detail of Barbie, and people don’t have to think about dolls’ “bodies.” On the other hand, when a doll is produced with such an uncanny attention to detail, especially when it’s a hyper-stylized depiction of the sort of bodies ubiquitously heralded as “hot,” (and oh so rarely achieved via nature alone) you have to wonder if kids are internalizing the Barbie “body” as something attainable.
Regardless, it’s an interesting concept, and it says something about how deeply ingrained Barbie has become as an American icon that a realistic body makeover looks jarring and surreal.
Barbie’s got back.