Why I Don’t Like Lamilly Dolls

Lammily Dolls at Toy FairI admire and respect Nikolay Lamm. He’s an entrepreneur and creative who successfully launched his own company making dolls. Good for him.  I just don’t like his dolls.

Lammily Ethnic dolls

Lamilly dolls were designed using the average proportions of a 19 year old American girl.

Why?

Because there are people who believe that somehow the proportions of a doll affects a child’s self image. The example most often used is Barbie – somehow, by playing with a Barbie when she is young, that girl’s self image/body image will be skewed as an adult.

I don’t agree.

Lamilly Acne

But Lammily dolls go even further… Lammilly marks. Stickers that children can put on the dolls to make them even more real. Like acne (pictured above). And moles and stitches and glasses and stretch marks.

In my opinion that goes beyond wrong, and verges on hurtful. Do real 19 year olds have acne and stitches and stretch marks? Yes… but I have never met a single woman in my whole life who hasn’t done her absolute best to hide those marks.

I don’t think playing with a Barbie will make a little girl hate her body when she grows up. But I do think that a little girl who is given a Lammilly doll with an acne sticker is going to hope to God she doesn’t look like her doll when she’s 19.

I don’t think Barbies or Bratz or Monster High dolls can make a child fearful of her future, but I think a Lammilly doll could.

One thought on “Why I Don’t Like Lamilly Dolls

  1. I’m going to throw in my two cents… I would have loved to have these dolls when my sister and I were younger. It was frustrating not being able to act out ‘real’ scenes – we imitated real life and we wanted to play some of this out with our dolls. Part of role-play is exploring fears you have as a kid about real life, and the great thing about role-play is that you have all the control and are able to experiment with scenarios in a ‘safe’ environment. Granted, after we’d stuffed cotton wool up our Barbies’ clothes to make them pregnant, at the time we never really thought about stretch marks (!) but our mom had never had these marks, so they weren’t part of what we saw as kids.

    On a note about proportions, I’m pretty sure that some of my anxieties over the years regarding big boobs – and disappointments regarding how my own body developed! – came from dressing and playing with Barbie dolls. Apart from the huge eyes, the boobs are the most noticeable thing about Barbie’s body, and when you dress her, they are the things that you have to fit the clothes around. I realize this shape is men’s fantasy (it’s not just Barbie dolls, which are based on a German male cartoonist’s design, the big boobs-tiny waist thing applies to a long tradition of male-designed cartoons aimed at teenage boys) but why force this fantasy on little girls’ toys? Even a lot of men grow out of this fascination at some point (and move on to appreciating curvy hips/bum, which is far more achievable and common in a natural woman’s body) so it’s not really representative of real life, just a teenage boy phase: a bit like when companies insist on making everything pink to sell to little girls, when research suggests this preference is naturally a phase they have at age five (and move on from). I really appreciate the effort this company has made to show a more natural (and achievable) alternative when it comes to a woman’s body.

    Maybe the stickers are a little bit gross for some people, but if I remember the girls I used to play with accurately, then some girls will love using them, and others maybe not so much. I still think that the doll’s more realistic, more ‘womanly’ shape is a big improvement!

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