“Normal Barbie” is now equipped to teach girls about periods

Today in news I love: the “normal Barbie” has an add-on pack designed to help girls learn about their periods, shame-free.

If you’re not familiar with the doll officially known as Lammily, it was designed in 2014 by Nickolay Lamm. Like everyone I know, Lamm was sick of dolls that have unrealistic and unhealthy body types. So he took it upon himself to design his own.

In a nutshell: goodbye breasts so big Barbie’s waist would snap if she were real, hello healthy body image. The Lammily doll has the measurements of the average 19-year-old woman in the U.S., and wears a sporty wardrobe with natural makeup. Basically, think about a Bratz doll then imagine the complete opposite.

Next up for the doll in helping girls embrace their bodies? Teaching them about their periods.

Lammily’s new Period Party pack is being marketed as “the fun way to explain the menstrual cycle to kids,” and I believe it. The pack includes an educational pamphlet, a pair of panties, reusable colored pads and liner stickers, and a calendar with dot stickers. For only $10, that goes a long way to erase the mystery and stigma around periods.

I just wish this doll had been around when I was younger. As a kid I was totally unprepared for my first period. It had only been mentioned vaguely by my parents, and the books I read that did refer to it made me think it was essentially peeing blood. When I did find some blood on my underwear, I assumed I had cut myself, until a couple of hours later when I put two and two together.

(If you ned a flashback to your own horrific period education story, check out Lammily’s hilarious video about awkward parents rapping to their daughter about puberty.)

“On average, a woman between the ages of 12 and 51 spends a total of 6 years on her menstrual period,” the Lammily website says. “Yet, while being a huge part of female life, this perfectly healthy and natural process is still surrounded with taboos. Let’s start an open and positive conversation about our periods.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. When I was in middle school, someone discovering one of my tampons would have been my worst nightmare. Now, I hate that a natural bodily function is seen as so embarrassing. I mean, if so many boys aren’t even embarrassed by farts that stink up the whole room, girls shouldn’t feel embarrassed for simply being a woman. Hopefully this doll will help girls not just learn what getting your period is really like, but also help finally get rid of the shame associated with menstruation.

This isn’t the first Lammily add-on pack I love, either. Last year the “Marks” add-on included stickers so kids could give their dolls cellulite, acne, stretch marks, grass stains, and scars. These supposed “flaws” are totally normal to develop throughout your life, so why not teach kids that they’re something to be proud of, not embarrassed by?

If you know a kid who could benefit from some healthy body image, or just want one for yourself (you’re never too old to play with dolls), check out the Lammily website.

This is what Barbie would look if she was modeled after a real 19-year-old girl

“Normal Barbie” calls out our culture’s obsession with body perfection

[Image via Lammily website]

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