Artist Creates Barbie Doll with ‘Normal’ Measurements

September 10, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. influential [in-floo-EN-shuh l] (adj.) – having great influence on someone or something
Example: The influential blogger has encouraged the younger generation to feel proud of their appearance.

2. standard [STAN-derd] (n.) – something used as a measure, norm, or model to make judgments
ExampleMost teenagers use the media’s high standards of beauty to know if they are pretty or not.

3. skinny [SKIN-ee] (adj.) –very thin
Example: Kathy is eating less because she wants to be skinny.

4. prevent [pri-VENT] (v.) – to keep or stop something from occurring or happening
Example: Advocates of healthy living want to prevent young girls from going on extreme dieting.

5. proportions [pruh-PAWR-shuh n, -POHR-] (n.) – the comparative measurements or size of different parts of a whole
Example: Bodily proportions should be considered when choosing one’s clothes.


Read the text below.
Nickolay Lamm of has designed a 3-D doll using the measurements of a normal 19-year-old American girl to show that the average is beautiful.

Lamm created the ‘normal’ Barbie using a 3D model with the average measurements from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For the ‘normal’ Barbie’s color and packaging, the artist used Adobe Photoshop, a photo editing software. After creating the doll, he took a photo of the standard Barbie beside the ‘normal’ Barbie to clearly show the difference.

The Barbie doll has been one of the young girls’ favorite toys since 1959. Despite being popular, the doll has faced different criticisms, one of which is being seen as a role model by children.

According to Lamm, dolls may be influential to the girls’ development of body image standards. In fact, a research suggests that the famous skinny doll may be one of the reasons why some young girls tend to have unhealthy eating behaviors. Young girls nowadays seem to eat less or skip meals just to get a slim figure, which may then lead to eating disorders.

Demi Lovato, a singer and an advocate of preventing eating disorders among young girls, supported Lamm’s intentions.  She showed her approval of the ‘normal’ Barbie on her Twitter post, which was seen by her more than 15 million followers.

On another note, Lamm said that he would not mind if the ‘normal’ Barbie prototype becomes available for purchase in the future. With the realistic body proportions of the ‘normal’ Barbie, young girls may be able to realize that they are beautiful just the way they are, Lamm added.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, can a Barbie doll really influence young girls? Why do you think so?
·         Do you think Lamm made the right decision of creating the ‘normal’ Barbie? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think many women nowadays suffer from eating disorders?
·         In your opinion, is it really important for a woman to have a slim body? Why do you think so?


September 10, 2013