“Normal Barbie” calls out our culture’s obsession with body perfection
Lammily, the “normal” Barbie who was created with the proportions of a natural-looking female body, is back to challenge old-school Barbie’s unrealistic beauty standards. In a new ad on YouTube, Lammily is serving up a heaping spoonful of positive body imagery, and she couldn’t have made her comeback at a better time. In the video, Lammily’s getting pumped for her spring break trip to Miami, and she does what we all do when we’re procrastinating (I mean, really, even dolls hate packing)—she checks her Facebook.
This is when things start to get too real: Lammily finds herself overwhelmed by representations of “perfect” looking girls, whose Facebook bikini pics have hundreds more likes than her own posts about her accomplishments (Lammily dropped a mix-tape, you guys. What’s not to ‘like’?!). From here on out, Lammily is bombarded everywhere she turns—from her TV, to billboards, to the side of a bus—with images applauding weight loss, ads promising to make you instantly skinny, and even music videos glorifying dolls twerking in teeny-tiny bathing suits. Lammily is, rightfully, discouraged.
And unfortunately, she’s not alone. As it gets closer to summer, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you’re not good enough. After all, to live in a culture where image is everything—not to mention a very specific image that most of us don’t quite match—is completely exhausting and incredibly disheartening. Imagine what kind of world it’d be for young women if the sides of buses read “Our body’s imperfections are what make them sacred!” instead of “Instant cellulite removal!” Imagine if we celebrated our stretch marks and scars, instead of wishing and willing them away like uninvited pests. Imagine if we could change the way women think about their own bodies in comparison to others’ by changing the way the culture at large represents the “ideal” woman. That’s where Lammily comes in.
Lammily does end up making it to the beach, and she finds that Barbie’s trick to getting a “perfect” bikini body is as easy as putting a bikini on a body that’s already perfect just the way it is. The ad, instead of focusing on skinny-shaming Barbie’s bangin’ bod, reminds us that even girls who look like Barbie have their so-called “imperfections.” Every woman on the beach flaunts her cellulite, owns her stretch marks, and truly works her waistline in celebration of self-love.
In just a two-minute ad, Lammily discovers (and is able to remind us) that perfection is what all about how you see yourself—and you’re perfect just the way you are. Thanks for the reminder, Lam. We’re ready for summer now. In the meantime, check out the full ad here: