Coming to your local toy store: reality

Coming to your local toy store: reality

At last, a doll for young girls – and boys for that matter – that can improve their self-image, correct a damaging course toward eating disorders, and confront an almost impossible standard that has to change.

The late Ruth Handler, Mattel’s co-founder, introduced the Barbie doll, dressed in her black-and-white striped swimsuit, for $3 in 1959. Though it still arguably is the most famous toy ever produced, the doll’s physical attributes were over the top.

Of course, girls tried to look like Barbie, and as they grew up many boys thought that Barbie was the model for their girlfriends and eventually their wives.

Now meet Lamilly. She is a new doll with bending joints, an athletic physique, and a motto – “average is beautiful.” She could be on the shelf in your neighborhood toy store soon.

Nickolay Lamm, a 25-year-old Pittsburgh artist who wanted to produce an alternative to Barbie, designed Lamilly. A Russian émigré who attended Jewish day schools for a time, Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted him as saying that one day, as he looked at a Barbie doll, he thought “it looked a little weird.”

Not to mention physically unrealistic.

The worst thing we could do for our children is to continue to objectify women. Lamilly probably won’t make a huge dent in Barbie’s fabulous world, but we hope that the doll, in her blouse, denim, and white sneakers, is more reflective of their lives than Barbie’s unrealistic proportion and endless wardrobe.

It is damaging for children to get the message that happiness has more to do with exterior beauty than inner strength, self-confidence, and consideration for others.

Lamilly is looking better all the time.

– PJ