Is average beautiful? Artist Nickolay Lamm raises the question of how society defines beauty with his creation, the Lammily Doll, which has gone viral. Lammily is different from the other dolls because of her realistic proportions, based on the proportions that an average girl has. I was so excited that the Lammily doll would be a great fit for my writing that I asked Nickolay for the chance to review his doll a year ahead of time. Now that the doll is finally in production and is sold on the company’s website just in time for holiday shoppers, I received the doll to try out and review.

Lammily Doll Review

As a woman who is 5’8, I do actually relate better to the height of the standard Barbie, and I predict that both of my daughters will in their future too. Is average relatable for everyone? I’m not so sure. I noticed that I would relate to the doll’s shoe sizing, but not her waist size because I’ve had trouble putting weight on after having my second baby. While Lammily had an average waist, her jean t-shirt wasn’t the most form fitting, so it wasn’t as appealing and fashionable on her as some of the other outfits might be. I would have liked to have seen her in her New York outfit to better analyze her look.

Lammily doll review

Click on the photo to see it in high-resolution.

Something that the doll makes me think about is the fact that there really is no average ideal because anything that is different from what a girl looks like will make her second guess her own look. For some girls who struggle with people telling them they are too thin, the doll might make them question their body type too. For other girls, the doll’s soft, shiny and smooth brown hair would be unrelatable because curly hair can be so difficult for some girls to maintain. Another feature is the doll’s perfectly nice looking face. Notice the doll’s large eyes, shaped eyebrows, small nose, and full lips.

Lammily doll review

Click on the photo to see it in high-resolution.

Would it be better to make an uglier doll? No, but making a doll with average weight proportions probably doesn’t solve any major social issues either. In fact, I’m not a huge fan of the idea of acne and cellulite stickers. Gross. We all know that smooth skin is more appealing.

Even though there are many reasons that Lammily doesn’t actually solve body image issues on a large scale, the doll does provide us with a new way to discuss body image with our daughters. One of the videos released about the doll this year showed children discussing the difference between Lammily and Barbie. At the end of the video, all of the kids said they would rather have Lammily because they already had a Barbie doll. With my daughter, I decided to ask similar questions to see what she noticed about her new doll. My daughter said that she loved Lammily’s brown hair and brown eyes, while she also liked the feet that made the doll stand up without heels.

My daughter also liked the doll’s ability to move her arms, legs, and feet. Natural movement brought the doll to life. When I moved the doll’s wrist and ankles, I did notice that I needed to be fragile, and I was nervous that if my baby played with the doll without my supervision, the doll’s hands or ankles could be the first place to break under rough care. Lammily also had some highlights in her hair that gave her hair color a natural sun kissed look. The hair quality was really nice.

Because Lammily’s proportions were different, she couldn’t use Barbie’s dresses. Lammily could fit in Barbie’s car. She could also also share Barbie’s necklaces and purses. Giving Barbie a natural looking friend was a great idea. Samantha completely enjoyed the experience.

We also explored the Lammily website, which had an entire line of fashion clothing, as well as a feature where you could custom produce a passport for your doll. As a history major who earned an M.Ed in elementary education, I liked the idea of the doll being a cultured, world traveler. Growing up, I always preferred dolls that had a story to dolls who only had dress up clothes. Lammily has clothing options for traveling to Denmark, Scotland, Rio, London, Paris, New York and Barcelona. I thought the doll’s travels were neat because I spent my childhood traveling too.

Even though Lammily has average body proportions, she appears to have an above average family income. According to CNN, the average household income was $53,891 in June 2014. Most children would not be able to afford the extravagant vacations that the doll takes. As I’ve worked in Title I schools, I wonder whether some children would feel bad, imagining that their doll has so much money. There are a lot of kids who will never fly on an airplane or even leave their own home town.

Is Lammily perfect? Well, no, but I think that’s the point. None of us are perfect either. All of the hype about the doll makes it easier to be critical about her, but Lamm is doing a great job of raising awareness about the body image ideals that we present to our kids. In the future, I plan to continue having my daughter play with and talk about the doll.

Questions? Tweet to Nickolay Lamm at @NickolayLamm or tweet to the doll @Lammily.

For more toy ideas, follow Theresa’s Reviews on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramFlipboard, and Youtube.

Disclosure: I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.

About The Author

Theresa has been writing since 2010 in magazines and online. Her lifestyle and parenting expertise has been featured in publications, including ShopSmart and Scholastic. She earned an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt as well as a BA in History from Flagler College, and she is a certified teacher.

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10 Responses

  1. andria

    Great review! I don’t think there is ever going to be that perfect doll for our children to play with. I believe it’s our responsibility as parents to teach our children to love and respect them selves no matter what.

  2. courtney

    I must live under a rock because I have never heard of these dolls… I will have to look more into them for my princess :):)

  3. Theresa (Capri + 3)

    I haven’t heard of Lammily before. I like that that she is dressed casually as most girls do not dress in high fashion every day and would likely find her style more relatable. I enjoyed your review and analysis of average. I agree that there is no doll that would be relatable for every girl.

  4. Corina Ramos

    Great review of this doll. I would probably get this for my granddaughter but I’m not sure about the cellulite and tattoo stickers but I do like the body image it’s portraying..,it’s more realistic.

  5. Rhonda Phipps

    Is it a possible scam?? I ordered a doll 3 weeks ago, a friend of mine ordered hers a few days before I did and we still have not received our orders. The email confirmation was emailed to my husband, but the tracking information didn’t work properly. After speaking with my friend, (who ordered 4 dolls for daughters and nieces) she said her tracking didn’t work on her email either. Seems oddly coincidental that the same thing happened to both of us. I’m telling everyone not to order one until we know if this is real. I’m curious to know if the only reason some people received their dolls was so that the sales would BOOM for the holidays and they could get our money. Any thoughts…???

    • theresa

      Oh, gosh, I don’t know! Lamm was quick to reply to my emails regarding press for the dolls. Do you think something happened with the production of the dolls to set back the shipping?

    • Annie

      I also believe this company has scammed people. I placed the order on Nov 21st for xmas gifts and was assured they would arrive in time and that my cc would not be charged until they were shipped. My card was charged on Nov 24th, so I called to find out when I would receive them. Instead I got an email stating they were already shipped, then on Dec 5th, I get an email with a tracking number that didn’t work saying they were shipped. I called the company again asking why the tracking number didn’t work, again, just an email stating their tracking system was having problems but be assured I would receive them in time for Xmas. Well needless to say Xmas has come and gone and last week after calling the company almost daily to ask where the dolls were, they arrive, with no invoice and no packing slip, so I go online to my account and click on the tracking number which is now different and they were not shipped out until the week of Xmas and for whatever reason didn’t arrive until last week. So that means that when I called and they told me there were shipped on Dec 5th, that was not true. Now I have these 2 dolls that I paid $22.45 for shipping on and still no Stretch marks that I paid $60.00 for to go with these dolls and when I go to the website it states that you must return the dolls within 30 days or your order date, not received date, but your order date. Also no one will return my calls about cancelling the marks which I have not received yet. So this company in my eyes is a scam and don’t waste your time or your money, the dolls are not even good quality and the face does not look like advertised. The clothes are cheaply made and don’t even fit the bum of the doll correctly. Well you live and learn and that is my lesson for 2014.

  6. Mary Penn

    Lammily is still blaming their shipping issues on being a start up company. I see these issues have not changed from when they started up. It is a three ring circus when you order things.

    Your order several items. Everything is being held to await an item with a future ship date. Understandable. In the meantime and item you purchased goes out of stock by the time the item the first item is ready to ship.

    Now let’s play ring around the Rosie. This could have gone on forever. I have used messenger, email and phone calls to try to track this mess down as I never received a confirmation of my order. I never received a phone call back.

    At least they are finally sending what is now available, have made a partial refund of my purchase. I’m still not happy that the sold the item I paid for to someone else.

    Maybe some bad publicity will get them to work harder.


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