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Barbie Gets a Real-World Makeover

Artist Nickolay Lamm created a 3D doll-sized model of a healthy, average 19-year-old American woman, then made her up like Barbie

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Which Barbie would you buy? Photo: Nickolay Lamm of MyDeals.com

What if Barbie looked like a real woman? Artist Nickolay Lamm answers this question with his latest work. He created a 3D Barbie-sized model of a healthy, average 19-year-old American woman, based upon data from measurements provided by the Centers for Disease Control. “The end result,” he writes, “is what Barbie would look like if she was a healthy, beautiful, 19 year old woman.”

Here’s Lamm on why he decided to undertake the project:

Some people say that we shouldn’t pay attention to the body proportions of Barbie because she is just a toy. On the surface, that sounds like a valid argument. But a closer look, through research, suggests that Barbie may lead to the following…

  • Heightened body dissatisfaction among young girls
  • Unhealthy eating behaviors 
  • A desire to achieve a slim body and therefore eat less 

Here’s a selection of Lamm’s work, starting with Barbie versus the 3D real-world model:  

 

More from Smithsonian.com:

A Birthday Card to Barbie, Happy 50th!  
The Joy of Toys

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