Color Me Skeptical: “Realistic Barbie”


I’ve been seeing this passed around the internet today, a “reinvisioning” of the Barbie doll by Nicholay Lamm. He took a 3D scan of a 19 year old woman and Barbie-fied her in order to create a more realistic version of Barbie other than the stick-like model we’ve known and played with for years. What? She was tall enough to pose a real threat to my X-Men action figures, okay?

Lamm took measurements of the average 19 year old from the CDC and in addition to the 3D scan, crafted the doll. Actual Barbie makes her look like a dwarf, and though she’s a bit more squat, apparently has kept the exact same twig-arms as Barbie, which seems a bit odd.

I don’t really understand this whole anti-Barbie crusade. It’s a stylized toy. Barbie looks the way she does in order for her fashionable little clothes to fit her better, not to give girls eating disorders. No one is worried that girls will try to grow tumors in order to inflate their heads like Bratz dolls. 

I don’t know, it’s an interesting experiment, but it’s just an uglier doll. Not to say it would be an uglier person in real life, but it just doesn’t really translate into doll form well, and I don’t blame Mattel for keeping Barbie’s shape.

More pictures below, including one that shows that real Barbie has one distinct advantage over her counterpart, a booty.






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  1. This totally makes sense. I hope that they can implement this and force Mattel to produce these realistic looking dolls.
    After that, we should force anime to shrink the size of their character’s eyes to more realistic proportions. I watched a lot of anime as a kid, and always hate how tiny and ugly my eyes are and how puny my head is.
    I play a lot of video games, now. So they’ll need to tone down the size of Kratos to a more human sized person. Narrow those shoulders, shrink those muscles, and while we’re at it, might as well give him a belly to.

  2. People always take the Barbie debate too far, I bloody loved them growing up and I don’t think at any point did my 8 year old brain this “this is what I should look like when I’m older”
    I personally was more upset with the fact my barbies head could rotate 360 degrees while mine couldn’t, don’t see them fixing that though

  3. You tout Anita Sarkeesian but you have no problems with Barbie dolls? Eh, to each their own. Anyway, I happen to agree with you. I don’t really understand the anti-Barbie crusade and certainly think people are intelligent enough to realize they are not expected to look like a plastic toy.

    Thank you for pointing the obvious truth as well, the “realistic” barbie is simply not as attractive a toy. Now, in real life, a woman who actually looked like Barbie would be frightening and “realistic” Barbie would win hands down. Real life does not equal toys though. Even children can understand this.

  4. Intent doesn’t mean a lot, and you not understanding why girls internalize negative messages from popular toys doesn’t stop them from internalizing those messages.

  5. I’m with Lima on this one. This ridiculous, unachievable body ideal is internalised and (can be) harmful in the long run. It’s more subtle than “being intelligent enough” to realise that you could never look like that.

  6. Those internalized ideals begin with many things, and not just in girls. So why is it that Barbie is the only thing being attacked about it? We grow up playing with beautiful dolls, strong buff superheroes, and millionaire cars. I’m not an attractive buff guy with an amazing car (or a car in general), but I sure as hell played with those toys when I was little. Yes, growing up playing with toys and then realizing that you can’t actually have or be what you used to play with sucks. Trust me, I wanted to be a ninja more than anything in the world. But at a certain age, I realized it wasn’t going to happen. It hurt, but it’s life. The problem isn’t the toy. The problem is society giving pointless shit so much power over who we are. Everyone just needs to shut up, calm down, play with some toys, and be whoever the fuck you want to be.

  7. Women with barbies proportions (there is at least one) just look freaky, any girl who strives to look like that deserves whatever she gets honestly.Barbie can make their dolls however they want, if you have a problem with it then don’t buy them.

  8. I think the more normal proportioned doll does have a prettier face but that aside, and as mentioned above, I don’t think little girls think about having to have Barbie-like bodies. It’s up to parents to talk to their children about healthy body image and enforce it.

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