Feminists Push for Average Barbie, New Doll A Little Too Realistic

Everyone has heard of Barbie. She is an American fashion toy that was created by American businesswoman Ruth Handler in the late 1950s. And although she is half a century old, she has still managed to stay relevant in a market swarming with look-alikes and the more technologically advanced.

Barbie has managed to stay relevant because each decade brings in a new design and apparel, and the transformation is always aesthetically relevant to the present day culture. Don’t believe me? Pause for a moment and look at 1970s Barbie vs. early 2000s. Major changes, right? Although Barbie has managed to adapt to each decade, one thing about her has always remained the same-Barbie always has a perfect shape and unnatural proportions, or at least that is what many feminists say.

Barbie has garnered so much attention and backlash from feminists that she can’t catch a break. This is where the problem lies.

My attention has been put on Barbie after seeing a new crowdfunding campaign surface with the slogan “Average is Beautiful” and a picture of a doll. The doll is named Lammily, and she is built to look like a standard 2014 female, flaws and all. I like the positive message behind the doll; by having young children be exposed to this type of body shape, then perhaps they will grow up accepting their bodies. It all sounds good on paper, but why is this even necessary? Dolls are toys, they are fantasy, and they allow us to play with our imagination, a realm where everything is perfect.

When I was a young boy, I was a big fan of He-Man action figures, a man who had muscles on top of muscles­-the pure opposite of the young, lanky Miles that liked to play with him. So where is the harassment against He-Man? There is none, at least not popularized, because Mr. Macho didn’t make skinny boys obsess over their own bodies. So why is it so difficult for females, more specifically feminists, to do the same thing?

I respect the Lammily campaign and what they are trying to accomplish, and at already 400 percent of their asked goal, it seems that many others believe in them too. However, I don’t want this seed to sprout into a new chain. Fantasy is necessary; it allows us to escape reality into a world both unorthodox, and perfect in our own way. Reality and imagination should blend, but when they do, that is a good indication that it is time to stretch the imagination a bit more. Dolls shouldn’t be approaching our forms now, they should be getting further away from us. Plus, wouldn’t it be eerie to play with something that looks just like you and me?