Real dolls for real kids
Ever given thought to just how white, thin and glamorous most children's dolls are? These might seem like harmless details, but several studies have found that kids are not growing up with a strong sense of self-esteem precisely because of these 'harmless' ideals we set for them early on in life.
For example, a 2014 study by Oregan State University found that playing with Barbie might push girls to see fewer career options for themselves later in life, while a 2006 study in the journal Developmental Psychology found a correlation between playing with thin dolls and young girls' desires to be thin themselves.
Artist Nickolay Lamm brought out his own more realistic doll in 2015 in answer to this dilemma. He crowdfunded the capital needed to start manufacturing these playthings after his digital depiction of a fashion doll reflecting the average proportions of a Caucasian 19-year-old female proved incredibly popular online.
Dubbed Lammily, the doll is believed by many to be the right step towards helping kids develop healthier, more balanced identities, and the intention to release a black Lammily doll on 1 March 2016, reinforces this sentiment. It's the reason we've dubbed the 'real doll' as one of the trends for 2016.
'[W]e have a short span of time to teach our kids anything about image before the internet takes over their view of things and we have no control over what they see, think, hear or feel anymore,' observes one commenter on lammily.com
'Good to see you are starting to add dolls of various ethnicities!!!' writes another commenter. 'Next I would love to see male dolls in your line; my granddaughter's little brother plays along with her dolls, including the multiple versions of Kens, so it will be nice to have male Lammily dolls!!'
Lamm draws inspiration from cultural and environmental issues, so his art is very much grounded in social commentary. And the Lammily doll is a strong example of this.
'He's finding ways to present information — visual summaries, really,' observed Dr Doug Harper, a specialist in visual sociology at Duquesne University, in an interview with Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Lammily dolls also have more realistic accessories, such as acne, cellulite, scars and much more.
Watch the reactions of school kids when shown the Lammily doll:
Get your own Lammily doll at lammily.com