Nickolay Lamm Discusses The Lammily Doll
Nickolay Lamm is the digital artist behind Lammily, an upcoming brand of body image-positive fashion dolls designed with the proportions of the average 19-year-old woman.
We recently spoke with Lamm about why body image issues are so important, and the events that led from the inception of the doll to its successful crowdfunding campaign!
Lamm, a digital artist with a background in marketing, uses visuals to provide commentary on important issues.
"Visuals are more effective than words because you can explain ideas in several seconds rather than minutes," Lamm explained. "And, in the internet age with so much information, you need that to stand out. I come up with ideas just by thinking about things."
In December of last year, he posted a blog titled "What Would Barbie Look Like As an Average Woman?"
On the blog were several images of a traditional Barbie doll standing next to a reimagined Barbie, sporting a curvier body and standing a head shorter than the original. The doll was based on the average proportions of young women.
Last year, Nickolay Lamm posted an image online displaying two versions of Barbie. On the left was the standard Barbie doll and to the right was a reimagined Barbie he designed to feature the average young women's proportions.
The designs were partially inspired by Lamm's personal experiences in school.
"Back in high school, I starved myself and exercised to exhaustion to have a set of six-pack abs," she said. "After achieving my desired BMI, I looked and felt terrible. This experience taught me to keep things in perspective. Every one of our bodies is different, so we should not be aspiring to some idealized standard."
Growing up, Lamm was also very close to his younger cousin.
"Now she is a 19-year-old competitive collegiate athlete and top student, a beautiful young woman and an inspirational person," Lamm said. "All muscles, she used to call herself 'fat.' She could only look 'fat' if compared to exceptionally thin beauty standards."
He said that current fashion dolls remind him not only of what he went though in high school, but also his cousin's experience.
"I'm reminded that there are some things that are just a mirage and not worth emulating," he said. "Moreover, I'm reminded that there is beauty in embracing all the aspects of who you are, and in staying true to you."
The issue is also important to him because many people think of concerns about body image as something that pertains to females.
"Even though I'm a guy, I have had my share of feeling insecure in my own body," he said.
Lamm's blog about the "Average Barbie" sparked a lot of interest. Many people told Lamm he should make the doll a reality, so he did.
He turned to a crowdfunding campaign to get the Lammily project off the ground.
"A crowdfunding campaign has the advantage of being funded by the people," he said. "It's exciting for people to make Lammily a reality. If some company were just to sell it, it's not exciting. A crowdfunding campaign gets people invested in the product because they have a part in making it happen."
Lamm's campaign goal was to raise $95,000. He reached the goal in less than a day.
"I knew the Lammily crowdfunding, due to its topic, would either fail or go really well," he said. "I'm really happy it went really well. Before Lammily launched, my family was telling me how 'big' this was going to be. I tried to keep my expectations artificially low so as not to be disappointed. So, in a way, I expected it to go well, but was preparing myself for it not to go well."
By the end of the campaign, more than half a million dollars had been raised!
Lamm said he believes other big toy companies aren't interested in the idea of a doll with realistic proportions yet because they don't believe the dolls would be marketable.
"But that's because nobody has tried to make it 'cool'," he explained. "Past attempts have always been just increasing the waist size of the doll and that's that. In order for it to be marketable, it has to have clear benefits to the kids who are playing with it, and that's what I plan on doing."
With Lammily, Lamm hopes to be able to change the way young girls think about the way they look.
"Lammily represents the idea of being true to yourself in a world filled with standards," he said.
In November, the first edition of Lammily will be shipped to many of those who made contributions to made the doll a reality. Lamm hopes to have clothes and accessories ready for sale by then.
He added that Lammily is the name of the brand, not the name of the doll. He wants fans to get creative with their dolls.
"I encourage anyone who has preordered Lammily to give their doll her own unique name because there will soon be an option of Lammily.com to print out a custom passport with the chosen name and country," he said.
For even more on Nickolay Lamm and Lammily, be sure to check out the social links below. You can also join us at SweetyHigh.com to share your ideas about positive body image!