One of my media modules this semester is Media and the Body. This has definitely been the most relevant and critical to society today and I would thoroughly recommend it. The subject of body image tends to crop up on a regular basis as you can imagine in the module. In Western society, implicit and explicit pressures are placed upon men and women on a daily basis to conform to body expectations – for instance women are pressured to remain slim and men to be muscular.
You may have seen various viral videos that demonstrate the adjustment of the unrealistic figure of classic Barbie, transforming the image into a doll that is deemed as average and healthy. For instance, the legs are shortened to be a more realistic length, the stomach is let out and the overall proportion is corrected to represent a body image that could be deemed as realistic and positive for the youngsters that play with these toys.
I recently came across a doll known as Lammily in an article in The Independent. The doll’s body proportions are meant to represent that of an average body. Furthermore, in an act that may be considered to be a little extreme by some, Lammily also has some added stretch marks, more realistic clothes and the option for acne. Children can also style the doll based on her activities – for instance tattoos, grass stains and scratches and bruises are available with the doll. In the hopes of reaching out to more individuals, the doll also has less make up and appears to be much more natural.
I found this to be very interesting as there has been so much negative press regarding the topic of classic Barbie’s unhealthy body proportions, and I think something like should be celebrated as it clearly promotes a much more healthy and achievable body image for youngsters. A video on YouTube exposed some children’s reactions to the doll – you may be pleasantly surprised. Click here to view the video.