Self Love from Playtime to Parenthood
This week I wanted to write something about an article that has been trending on Facebook. I think it is a very interesting topic that has much to say for the way women perceive their own bodies. Online news engines are all over the topic of Lammily, “the new Barbie doll” who says “Average is beautiful.” Nickolay Lamm, the creator, made a YouTube video to ask the public to donate to his cause against the traditional Barbie doll. His goal is to give a new kind of doll to the young girls of our generation. The doll is supposed to teach them to live healthy lifestyles and surrounds them with more attainable body images. Lamm created Lammily as a scale model of the average size of a 19 year-old female (5’4” with a 33 inch waist) in order to combat the popular Mattel brand of Barbie. Lammily has a somewhat athletic build with movable joints, is Caucasian, has brown, straight hair, and is dressed the way a “normal 19 year old would dress” (Kansas City Star).
In my response to the campaign, I think it’s great to give girls more options as well as their parents in choosing toys with positive outlooks. My own discoveries in parenting have led to my belief that I have to love myself to set a good example for my daughter. I want her to love herself now, through the rest of grade school when body image issues are especially prevalent, and when she has her own children. I read an interview in the Kansas City Star with another mom and fitness coordinator who had a similar idea to my own: “We teach our kids diversity,” she says. “We teach them the importance of inner beauty. When they are playing with Barbie they are not focused on her looks. They are focused on her career and what she does. I love that Lammily is another option. I think that is great. But when my kids are playing, they see all of their dolls equally. They don’t look at skin color or hair or body. It’s how we teach them. We push esteem and equality.” While Barbie is an oddly disproportionate woman, there are a lot of things she has been through in her many decades. Barbie has a lot of beauty and strength in her, but so does Lammily! Your child will be the one giving the dolls the stories in his or her game play, and those stories will be based around all the other things in life to which they are exposed. I think it is up to parents to instill values in children about self-love, health, and happiness. Whether you grow up with Barbie or Lammily, there will be body image issues in life for everyone.
I had to go through a big transformation in life to really love myself. I chose to become a plus size model to help women of all sizes to love themselves. Girls do need real examples in the media to inspire them to love themselves the way they are, but so do adults! That’s why I love the campaign of actresses like Jennifer Lawrence who accept their curves and show them off. This Lammily media hype says a lot about authenticity. Human beings don’t have to be media “normal” to fill happy, healthy lifestyles. It’s important to listen to the voice within ourselves that will guide us to make the choices that will help us love ourselves and to spread the word!
Check out the Lammily video and let me know what you think! Tweet me at @HelenesKitchen.
Lamm, Nickolay, ed. “About Me.” NickolayLamm.com. WordPress. Web. 10 Mar 2014. <http://nickolaylamm.com/about-me-2/>.
Osterheldt, Jenee. “Barbie isn’t “Normal,” But Neither is Lammily, the So-Called “Normal Barbie”.” Kansas City Star. (March 7, 2014): n. page. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.kansascity.com/2014/03/07/4873034/barbie-isnt-normal-but-neither.html>.
Smith, Lydia. “No More Barbie Girl: Meet the World’s First Normal Sized Lammily Doll.” International Business Times. (March 10, 2014): n. page. Print. <http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/no-more-barbie-girl-meet-worlds-first-normal- sized-lammily-doll-1439645>.