Artist Creates “Normal Barbie” Using Official CDC Measurements [Pics]


Using Photoshop,a 3-D model and printer, and the official measurements from the Centers for Disease Control for the average 19-year-old female, artist Nikolay Lamm of created the “Normal Barbie.”

real barbie 1

I created normal Barbie because I wanted to show that average is beautiful,’’ Lamm wrote in an email to “If average-looking Barbie looks this good and if there’s even a chance of Barbie negatively influencing young girls, why not make one?”

 real barbie 2

[via TODAY]



86 Responses to Artist Creates “Normal Barbie” Using Official CDC Measurements [Pics]

  1. In the flesh, “Normal Barbie” would probably be gorgeous. But as a doll, she just looks weird. Maybe it’s because dolls are typically a stylized medium. We don’t think anything about cupie dolls, chibi dolls, china dolls, or any action figures being stylistically distorted… mainly because they don’t challenge a physical ideal and aren’t linked to eating disorders and whatnot, and I wouldn’t dream of glossing over that obvious issue. But I’m just saying… Normal Barbie looks weird, imho.

    • Exactly. Barbie is a fashion doll. Her purpose is to make the clothing look good. People read way too much into dolls.

  2. Is the head the right? It looks too small now…. I agree Tuti, the neck looks a little weird, I’m guessing that has to do with using the same Barbie head, so the attachments weren’t quite right.

    • That’s not the same Barbie head. Look at it in the side view. It’s a normal head. Barbie’s head is way, way too big and her face is out of proportion. Her eyes are too big and her forehead is too long. The height of the head x2 should be roughly equal to the width from shoulder to shoulder.

      • Actually they did use a Barbie head and basically cut part of the scalp away to change the head size. Using a bit of heat to reshape the nasal bridge only the slightest and a simple repaint of the eyes/brow line. The doll head is a bit too small for the body type and had the artist done a proper sculpt with a proper mold the doll would actually look proportionate to the body she designed.

        But I would like to know exactly how many girls she measured to get a bubble butt on that doll as roughly 98% of the teen girls I have met in my life are not blessed with large bottoms.

        • This girl definitely is! I was a little chunky 11-15, went rail-thin from 16-18, then filled out to a more healthy size from 18 on. As soon as I went rail thin, I lost weight everywhere except in my chest and in my butt. Then, as I entered into adulthood, I started to look a lot more womanly with added curves, but the butt has been steadfast. Most of my friends have lots of curves, too, without being heavy. (We’re all white, as it happens.)

  3. Honest, I understand that this is supposed to be a more healthy representation of the barbie, but besides the exaggerated bust I look much more like the original than the new one. I am really happy with the way I look, although I haven’t always been because of this new media craze obsessed with putting down the skinny body types. Barbie is unrealistic, but an example of good breeding(One cannot change their genetics), although she is much too idealized. The reason I think Barbies are unhealthy for girls to play with is because Barbie is generally materialistic, and it encourages vanity with it’s reoccurring theme of Barbie being romanced constantly.

    • “Good breeding” really? Didn’t someone prove that it would impossible for anyone to have her proportions? Or did you mean blonde hair/blue eye which is subjective. You make such good points that the “good breeding” comment stands out in a very negative way.

  4. The head is right. The proportions of a human body are about 6 1/2 heads height (the actual head is already included in that), and the face is about the size of your hand complete with fingers (on a side note, they did an excellent job making “average” Barbie’s hands!).

    Also, when drawing the proportions of figures is often stretched a bit, because when seeing it as an image, we often feel something looks too clunky, even if it is the realistic proportion. So the realistic proportion of 6 1/2 heads is often 7 heads, or maybe 8 in some cases.

    Also, the original Barbie’s head is muuuuch too large for her body. I thought that a kid too,

    The neck is a bit disconcerting, I agree. But try unfocusing a bit when looking at the image, only so much that the seam between neck and head vanishes, and examine the overall form. That way it looks pretty normal.

    They didn’t use an original Barbie’s head for the “Average” Barbie. They actually made the head themselves as well.

  5. The neck looks like after you broke head off and had to squish it back on. Which is probably why it looks weird.

  6. They forgot the cellulite, double chin, and sagging stomach if they want it to look like an “average” American.

    I find it amusing that girls whine about Barbie yet no one has a problem with boys playing with Superman / Batman / other superhero toys that show an impossible to achieve physique.

    • “Superman / Batman / other superhero toys that show an impossible to achieve physique.”

      Because that is sort of the definition of ‘super’hero?

      Barbie is not meant to be a superhero, but an idealized ‘real’ woman.

      • Valid points, yet they do not fully address the central issue – sex/gendered pedestalization of impossible to achieve body shape, and to a further extent, personality. While women are still often conditioned to hyper-focus on their appearance, that doesn’t overwrite or provide valid reason to dismiss male gender scripts. Some (key word) males are able (or allowed, depending on the argument) to over-inflate their sense of agency, thus don’t feel any body shame (or at least hide it well), yet not all males are the stereotype of the hyper-masculine, take charge, ubermensch. Besides, Batman, as well as many other “super”heroes, is a normal human, not a super-being.

  7. Original Barbie’s neck is almost the same length as her head is tall. Look at someone and imagine, really imagine, what they’d look like if their neck was almost as long as their head is high, and also about half as thick.

    Then whimper and scream a bit.

    If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5’9″ tall, have a 39″ bust, an 18″ waist, 33″ hips and a size 3 shoe. At 5’9″ tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia.

    Though at least some of the most flagrantly nasty stuff you saw in the Barbies from the 60′s and 70′s isn’t as prevalent.

    Sorry Alex, but you don’t have a Barbie-like build. No human could have Barbie-like proportions and live, or at best, walk.

  8. From the front original barbie looks better but from the side new barbie is better. Hmmm…i think mainly it’s the neck and head that’s the main problem it feels distorted and looks weird.

  9. They both look weird. I’d like to see the versions from other countries.
    Japanese girls already look more like sticks :)

  10. Just gonna throw it out there that old-Barbie is easier to play with for small children because of those long stick-like legs. For their smaller hands, the thinner legs are easier to wrap their fingers around and having them be so long makes it so you don’t lose too much of Barbie when you’re bouncing her around by her ankles talking to the other Barbies. XD Other than that – and that flat booties are easier to sit dolls on than that curvy realistic one – I don’t see any troubles with new-Barbie.

    • Babies play with blocky toys with round edges and bigger, fatter, softer dolls when they’re younger for a logical reason. The last thing you give a small child is something long and thin; that’s a choking hazard that they’re likely to put directly in their mouth..

  11. Barbie looks like human being interesting..btw nowdays not many of toys resemble real animal or people. Me, my friends, relatives, classmates all grew up on original barbie and even though those ones are severely disproportionate, we don’t have wrong self-perception.

  12. Couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but the normal girl Barbie looks like Amanda Bynes. Before she went crazy and worked for Nickelodeon lol.

  13. Waiting for a normal looking He-Man so the male yungins no longer have unrealistic body image expectations.

  14. I dnt believe that barbie can be blamed for kids having an eating disorder. In my opinion both barbies look like nice toys for wee girls to play with. I think we continually overthink things these days. They are toys!

    • Barbie comes with small parts that you don’t give to wee girls. Also, the point is that Barbie has the dimensions and shape of one of The Grays, all she’s missing is the eyes. While she has telekinesis (how else could she make anything she fits in move under its own power?), she lacks telepathy. Her skin color is also all wrong, that faux-spraytan that came in pink instead of orange really needs to be a rich battleship gray. Also, she needs to be a *lot* smarter to pass as one of Them.

    • I agree. Toys are for learning and using the imagination. I don’t know anyone in my age bracket that has emotional or mental issues from the original Barbie image.

  15. I agree with many others here in that I think the normal one looks much better. The “idealized” Barbie looks kinda freakish especially when compared side by side with the normal one.

  16. New Barbie is too sexy. Old Barbie is so fake, she lacks as much sex appeal. Little girls would be fighting her brothers to get her Barbie back. haha! I never thought of Barbie as any kind of standard for myself. Just a long skinny doll; not a role model.

  17. Why doesn’t either Barbie have boobs. I don’t know but it seems to me that at least a 36B would be average, it makes it seem like women with boobs are fat or something. I like that old Barbie from when I was young had boobs. The truth is, since women have all sorts of body types, there is no way to make a doll that makes all women feel beautiful.

  18. I think new barbie is pretty smokin’.. except they have her standing like a slob. bad posture changes everything

  19. Normal Barbie is missing one thing Traditional Barbie never had…. almost all modern 19 year old have tramp stamps these days!

  20. I like her thighs. I have always been a big fan of thighs and men and women who actually have thighs. Mmmmm…. Thighs……

    Her neck does look a little odd. I don’t know if it is because it has the pulled down chin look or if because the doll has no shoulders. The neck and clavicles look great up to where the arms attach. The shoulders look very slight compared to the torso and neck.

  21. It’s known as “The Uncanny Valley”. The more things begin to look like us without them being us…well it begins to freak us out.

  22. I dig that normal Barbie has shape and the whatnot, but kinda feeling like making a giant hoot about current Barbie’s shape undermines women who have similar features. For instance, I’m tall – when people call Barbie a “freak” for being tall, it kinda pisses me off. Likewise, I know skinny women and when people claim Barbie is a freak because she’s skinny, it kinda pisses them off, too. The idea that “normal” needs to be propagated at the expense of diversity, I suppose is my main argument. I think it’s ok for Barbie to be tall and thin. I would rather like to see other dolls introduced who have other physical variations (shorter, larger, darker, etc.), than Barbie herself be forced to conform what society has decided is “normal.”

  23. Barbie isn’t diversity, though.

    It’s not that she’s tall — it’s that she’s taller than any human woman.

    It’s not that she’s thin. It’s that even Marylin Monroe (who was an hourglass the likes of which, even accounting for a certain amount of exaggeration, was a ridiculous outlier) is nowhere near those proportions.

    A couple of people on this thread have said they look like Barbie. But they don’t.

    It’s possible that one or two women in history might have been well over 6 feet tall and also been able to have a waist smaller than her head — with the help of feats of incredible corset engineering and the ability to withstand pain greater than most of history’s conquerors. But 9 heads tall? My already stretched sense of credulity kinda shatters at this point. A 10-inch difference between waist and boobs/hips = an hourglass. Barbie isn’t thin so much as she is like an impossibly curvy woman who has been taken by the neck and ankles and stretched on the rack until well past the point of death!

    Tall, thin Barbie would be awesome. And honestly, the old plastic style of Barbie was so far from reality that it probably wasn’t really a thing — much like no one cares if they look like a He-Man doll. But have you seen the creepily lifelike soft bodies of Barbies these days? They’re already approaching the uncanny valley, without any concessions to real proportion.

    I was a kid/preteen right around the time they started transitioning to the newer style. I never felt like I was supposed to look like the old style Barbie. She was an action figure, like He-Man. But right as I hit preteen, wham! Much more realistic skin texture, paint job, torso build… Barbie at this point is like an even more stylized version of a movie star — it might just be possible to be like her, the pitch goes. Except it’s not. It’s just in that range of unattainably believable to even fool some people (like some in this thread) that they DO look like Barbie, albeit on her worst day. It’s insidious.

    (At least with movie stars, male and female, these days we usually have a real picture of them to compare to all the airbrushing and photoshopping and Barbie-esque rack stretching.)

    “Average” Barbie is by no means a finishing point. But she’s not being pushed at the expense of diversity: She’s the first, faltering steps, towards a semblance of something barely approaching the idea that to be human is to be beautiful. Hooray!

  24. “normal” should not be a word, the word should be “HEALTHY” and it should be dependent upon your body type and genetics. everyone’s body type is different, so there are things wrong with both barbies. not everyone has large hips like “normal” barbie– i’ve had 3 kids and i barely have hips. as for the big booty, that depends where you carry fat– i’ve seen women with large breasts and no butt at all, and vice versa, and some have neither but they have a large midsection. the same can be said that not everyone has an hourglass shape and long, slender legs like the original barbie. i weigh 100lbs, but i’m very short and have a small bone structure; i have female friends who weigh 40lbs more than myself but they are not fat, because they are structurally different. celebrating who you are and living a healthy lifestyle is all that is required.

  25. also… who the heck “idolizes” their toys? i had a doll with a different skin color than mine and i didn’t go out and change that. i had inspector gadget toys and i don’t have a hat with a helicopter in it or a dog named Brain. none of my toys made so much of an impact on me that i thought i should model my body after them; i actually am concerned about the mental state of a child who is young enough to play with barbies and is thinking about the shape of their body. i didn’t start caring about my shape until my aunt flo introduced herself.

  26. The real barbie is fat, young girls who play with barbies are usually much skinnier, this “real” one looks like a trashy 30 year old woman (party because they changed the face features too, so the innocent cute look is gone). No, it’s just a joke lol

  27. Isnt the name ‘Barbie’ synonymous with enough negative connotations and stereotypes for you feminists to launch a rival brand?

    I’ve never met a doctor, lawyer, academic, or any woman in a position of power called Barbie.
    I have met 2 strippers using that name, probably not their real names. Then of course you have that Claus chap.