Barbie’s a real doll!


The doll on the left is, of course, Barbie, freak of plastic. The doll on the right was created by artist Nickolay Lamm using CDC figures to create a 3-D printed model of an average American 19 year old woman.

It’s been referred to as “normal” Barbie, and I’m not sure how I feel about that, nor how I feel about CDC “averages” — “normal” can be a very problematic word, and as a social scientist I can assure you that “average” is often useless.

And yet, having said that — more of this please! It’s remarkable how initially odd the “average” doll looks (or, at least it did to me!), and then how absolutely right.

More pictures of Lamm’s process and a link to his blog after the jump.

barbie 3D figure

barbie 3D figure box

barbie boxes

Sources: Artist Nickolay LammThe Stir, and Huffington Post.

Crossposted from I Should Have Been A Blogger.


  1. looks more like Modesty Blaise

  2. Rather than call her “Normal,” I prefer the term “Proportionate.” Proportion is a notion that runs through all areas of science and I think body morphology is just another place it belongs. Mr. Lamm’s creation is what a woman looks like; her form seems proportionate for height and mass and internal space. Barbie looks like several of her internal organs are trying to share the same cramped space, in the doll equivalent of ten people living in a studio apartment in Manhattan.

  3. Lise

     /  August 23, 2013

    Brilliant, Newt!
    Also, Emily, didn’t Official Barbie used to be much more buxom? I seem to remember that as part of the reason Mom would never buy us Barbies.

    • You know, I think she was! I think this is all part of the general skinni-fication of women’s visible bodies, also seen in the ever-shrinking shape of the woman with the torch at the start of all Columbia Pictures films.

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