What a More Realistic Barbie Doll Might Look Like

Take a look at the modern Barbie doll that Nickolay Lamm of MyDeals.com created; she’s the one on the right, in case you couldn’t tell.

It’s been said before that if a human being had Barbie’s proportions, she would be about 5’9″ tall with a 39″ bust, and an 18″ waist. That living doll would have 33″ hips, she’d wear a size 3 shoe, and she would weigh 110 pounds. Those measurements are not at all realistic if you are a human being rather than a product made of molded plastic body parts.

Barbie vs. Reality 2

image source: MyDeals.com

According to the CDC, the average 19-year-old woman is about 5′ 4″ tall with a 34″ waist; in other words, she looks nothing like the Barbie dolls most girls have played with at some point in their lives. Even supermodels have few similarities to a Barbie doll’s measurements; Naomi Campbell, one of the biggest supermodels of all time, is 5’9″ with a 34B chest, a 26″ waist, and 35.5″ hips; she weighs 125 pounds, and she wears a size 9 shoe.

naomi campbell

Naomi Campbell for Giant Magazine, via Trend Hunter.

Nickolay Lamm’s doll was created by taking the CDC’s measurements and mapping them out next to Barbie’s.


image source: BusinessInsider.com

The result is a “healthy, beautiful, 19-year-old woman.”

Measurements 3

image source: MyDeals.com

Should little girls stop playing with Barbies? That’s a debate for others to decide. As best I can tell, there is much good that comes from girls being allowed to play with them. Anyone who has a daughter has likely listened in while she was “playing Barbies” with her friends. Parents know that Barbie gives their daughters an outlet where they can interact with their friends while decorating Barbie’s home, dressing, accessorizing, and grooming their dolls, as well as working out Barbie’s myriad relationships. Playing with Barbies works children’s’ imaginations, and it keeps kids happily occupied for hours on end!

Even so, I can’t help but think that little girls who play with Barbies are getting the message (however subtle) that Barbie is an ideal, and though some little girls may eventually come closer to it than others will, Barbie symbolizes an ideal that no real girl — not even one who grows up to be a supermodel — can ever attain.

Barbie vs. Reality 1

image source: MyDeals.com

With all the other modernizations that Barbie has experienced, I can’t help but wonder why Mattel hasn’t upgraded her to more realistic measurements; even Barbie’s hands are ridiculously disproportionate.


image source: BusinessInsider.com

If Barbie’s measurements were closer to that of a supermodel’s, the differences between her and the average female would be slightly less jarring. But if Barbie’s measurements were closer to that of the average female’s, then little girls (and their parents) might find even more to love about their favorite doll.

Update: And now you can preorder your own Lammily doll for just $25.

Source: What if Barbie Looked Like a Real Woman? via Barbie Gets a Real-World Makeover

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

2 Comments on "What a More Realistic Barbie Doll Might Look Like"

  1. I have to say I definitely find the “average” Barbie a lot more appealing. But that’s me.

  2. While 5’4″ and 34″ waist might be the national average, that’s definitely overweight. That’s because 70% of the population is overweight or obese.

    To put it in perspective of why a 34″ waist is bad, the WHO (World Health Organization) considers a 54.1% waist-to-height ratio to be obese for women. On a 5’4″ female, that’s a 34.6″ waist.

    Now, it’s one thing to be aware that Barbie is way off base, but using measurements for a female who is very overweight, nearing obese levels, is also the wrong way to go.

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