When we first read that artist Nickolay Lamm was raising $95,000 on CrowdtiltOpen to create a Barbie-like doll with the proportions of an average, living, breathing young woman (with no need to carry her vital organs in a handbag), we very literally cheered.
Let Barbie have her gargantuan breasts, spiky stilettos and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue spread — this new doll can still wear pretty clothes and chase exciting careers, but she can also keep all her vital organs where they belong. Finally, a doll a mother can give her little girl without the twinge of I-might-be-fostering-low-self-esteem-and-unrealistic-ideals guilt.
We read excitedly, thinking: “What’s her name?” “How are they promoting her?” “Tell us everything!”
Her name is Lammily, and her catchphrase is “Average is Beautiful.”
We couldn’t help feeling a bit defensive on the doll’s behalf; she’s the toy we’ve been waiting for — she’s shaped like a healthy young woman with curves that say, “I work out, but I also eat,” and she looks good (and human) in both her athletic wear and her evening attire. With Barbie’s sales dwindling, she could change everything! She’s even got former vice president of manufacturing at Mattel Robert Rambeau helping to make sure she is manufactured at the highest quality. So shouldn’t she be given a branding campaign as kickass as she is?
“Average is Beautiful?” Seriously? We don’t want to celebrate unrealistic ideals, but no little girl (or person in general) strives to be “average.” Average has negative connotations and is immediately equated with mediocrity; a C on a test, a so-so meal, etc. Couldn’t they have found a better word like “real” or “healthy” or something?
Furthermore, we get that the doll is named for her awesome and bold creator, but “Lammily” sounds a lot to us like “lamely.” Lame and average? Come on! This is such an awesome project; it deserves an equally awesome marketing campaign!
At the end of the day, though, we know we’re just being picky because we happen to eat, sleep and breathe PR and marketing day in and day out; this is a fantastic project with noble and bold intentions, and we’re excited to see it come to fruition, even if the catchphrase isn’t quite what we would have pitched.