I've received many email messages since I've launched the crowdfunding campaign for the Lammily line of dolls (which ends today). I believe the world is ready to accept a new fashion doll in the "pink" aisle of the toy store — one who appears different from its current inhabitants because she resembles what most women look like in reality. (Check out brand new photos of "realistic Barbie" here!)
Here is just one of those messages:
"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. As the mother of a daughter, age 7, who has already been influenced by friends and the limited media she is allowed to consume to the point of expressing concern over being fat and needing to lose weight — even though she is below ‘average’ with regard to weight — I cannot thank you enough. It is about time something like this came along — and hopefully, the world is ready to receive it."
Lammily is not the first attempt to create a realistic looking doll. But if you take a quick look at the history of previous designs, you'll see that some were still very similar to the popular Barbie look, some were too expensive and some were too funky. Lammily is the first reasonably priced doll which doesn't cut any corners in reality when it comes to body proportions. Everything from the hands, to the feet, to the leg-height ratio of the Lammily doll is realistic.
She does look like a tiny person.
In the age of online shopping and social media, I believe that Lammily can utilize online marketing as a foundation to grow into traditional retail. I don't have the giant advertising budget of corporations, but I do have experience in creating viral content and will use that to make Lammily a power brand. The Internet has allowed people to have their voice heard. I have many exciting projects lined up which I know will be widely shared on the news and among people on Facebook and Twitter. Lammily will use the power of the Internet to become a stable brand for years to come.
"The other day, my six-year-old daughter told me she was thinking about stopping eating because she wanted to be as slim as Barbie. She also said that she would have a more happy life if she was thinner. When she saw the images of Lammily, she told me, 'Eww she's fat.'"
"I'm a 38-year veteran middle school science teacher. I have shared your project with the girls in my classes, and the vast majority display great excitement about what you are creating."
Many kids grow up with a completely distorted vision of what a female body should look like, and fashion dolls play a role in building this perception. I hope Lammily can help young girls to develop more realistic standards. I believe it's a step in a right direction.
Lammily has received overwhelming support from parents, but the kids, in the end, will rule the sales. I'm doing my best to make her a fun toy to play with. From the feedback I receive, I know that many children think Lammily looks sweet and friendly. Developing clothes and accessories to complement her image is the next big step, now in progress.
Lammily's accessories can reflect real life, in miniaturized form, and have an online component where children can explore it in depth. I believe that a lot of toys currently on the market encourage kids to escape from reality rather than engage with it. Most athletes, musicians, artists, other popular figures and other types of successful people began practicing their craft or somehow following their path from a very early age. Lammily can help kids find their passion by encouraging them to engage in life rather than pretend life.
Another Lammily supporter wrote to me, "I can’t wait for 'Dr. Lammily,' and 'Veterinarian Lammily' and 'Business Executive Lammily' and 'Professor Lammily,' who will reinforce the reality that women grow up to be strong, confident and contributing individuals. Thank you for finally giving young girls a realistic idea of how to be."
Emails like these make my day. I promise to work hard for Lammily to become all the above — and much more.