Two years before toy manufacturer Matell announced they would release a line of Barbies with various skin tones and body types, artist Nickolay Lamm launched his Lammily dolls. With customisable acne, bruises and cellulite, these ‘normal’ dolls were designed to combat unrealistic beauty standards that girls can face from childhood.
Now, the toy creator has revealed a new addition to his collection: a male doll with a more authentic body shape than Barbie's chiselled boyfriend. Think of him as Ken with 'Dad bod'.
Each ‘Boy Lammily’ doll comes with a storybook pamphlet, casual outfit and an online passport so you can choose his name. At the moment, the project is part of a crowdfunding campaign where supporters can vote on what the doll's profession will be. He could be a chef, an athlete or perhaps a teacher.
In his fundraising video above, Lamm explains how men also struggle with body image, drawing on his own experience as a teenager. “Back in high school, I decided I really wanted a six-pack. I exercised myself to exhaustion and got so skinny that I just didn’t recognise myself anymore. And I know I’m not the only one,” he says.
On his crowdfunding page, Lamm highlights that just as toys can provide positive body image ideals for young girls, “let us not forget that societal pressures concerning body image apply to boys and men as well.”
According to Lamm, Boy Lammily's shape is based on the dimensions of an average 19-year-old male, and Lamm needs to reach a fundraising goal of $70,000 to manufacture the toy. You can back his campaign by buying a doll for $17.
Lamm’s male creation is the latest in a long line of dolls reflecting diverse bodies, from disabled dolls to dolls with different skin tones. The resounding message is clear: we want a representation of all body types, and we’re off to a good start.