Proud2Bme | Mattel Should Take a Cue from Lammily’s Male Figures

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Mattel Should Take a Cue from Lammily’s Male Figures

By Kaitlin Irwin--You may have heard about Lammily, the “realistic” doll alternative to Barbie. Lammily received mixed reviews, with some praising the doll for depicting a “normal” body type, while others thought that the Lammily creators were going a little too far in their body-positivity cause.

Well, the Lammily blog is now tackling male body image, and it’s taken a look at male body ideals over the years. These computerized models represent varying body types—such as the plump men of the 1870s, the hippie-thin guys of the1960s and the Terminator-style dudes of the 1980s.

This is another facet to the Lammily company’s mission of drawing attention to how the idealization of particular body types has permeated children’s everyday lives. We see “perfect” bodies stretched out on billboards, whizzing past us on ads plastered to the sides of public transportation and staring at us from magazine covers at the supermarket check-out. Lammily points out that something as innocent as a childhood toy can become a reminder of how we just don’t measure up. The last time I checked, not many women resemble the ample-chested, thin-waisted, leggy Barbie doll, however iconic she may be.

Barbie manufacturer Mattel recently launched a new line of dolls that represent a variety of body types. Now you can buy petite, curvy and tall Barbie dolls, in addition to the original. Mattel has received a lot of positive feedback on the new dolls, and it hopes to show little girls that Barbie isn’t a one-size-fits-all doll. While more body types for Barbie would be nice, this is a great leap forward for Mattel and the body-positive movement in general.

But what about Ken? You know, the hunky, chiseled, manly boyfriend of Barbie? Perhaps it is time for Mattel to give Ken a body makeover as well. Besides, if Ken is going to be hanging out with this new-and-improved class of Barbie dolls, he needs to update his stiff look! In all seriousness though, it would be pretty cool to see a variety of Ken dolls on the market. Men and boys are judged by their bodies as well. Mattel could try out a lanky Ken, a short Ken, an average-Joe Ken…the possibilities are endless, really.

There will be people who will argue that “it’s just a doll,” but I think that it’s exciting to see different kinds of dolls on the toy store shelves, especially because you only need to walk outside to see so many different types of bodies. How might a child feel when they see that there are other options and possibilities for Barbie? Their dolls can go to the moon, become doctors and run for President—regardless of what they look like.

While we will never achieve absolute perfection and success when it comes to body image and dolls, we can keep the ball rolling with these new body types. Lammily’s male figures show us that body ideals aren’t static. Rather than shame some and favor others, let’s just see acceptance of all. One way to start is by offering a variety of dolls. It’s not an end-all solution, but I think that changing Ken’s appearance to be more inclusive will help young boys realize that they aren’t expected to look a certain way either.

About this blogger: Kaitlin Irwin is a recovered anorexic who spent her college years struggling to hide her illness. With lots of support, patience and an Intensive Outpatient Program, she embraced herself, flaws and all. In her free time, she enjoys exercise, cooking and art and can usually be found with a good book, a journal or her fiancé. She hopes to use her love of creative expression to spread positivity and love to others.

To learn more about Mattel's new Barbie Fashionistas line, check out:

Barbie’s New Look: Empowering or Not Enough? Our Writers Weigh In!

Image courtesy of Lammily 

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