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Nickolay Lamm Barbie Makeover Shows Reasons For Barbie’s Falling Sales?

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Nickolay Lamm Barbie
(Photo : Twitter) Nickolay Lamm's "Normal Barbie" is modeled after an average 19-year-old American girl.

Artist Nickolay Lamm caused a stir this year with his two “Barbie makeover” projects. One showed Barbie with a new body: that of an average 19-year-old American girl, with shorter height, rounder curves and flatter, bigger feet. The other showed Barbie without makeup, removing the dramatic long, dark eyelashes and pink lips for a more natural look.

Now, two new articles have used Lamm’s Barbie makeover projects as evidence for America’s falling interest in Barbie, resulting in slipping sales.

An Associated Press article published earlier this month writes that Barbie’s sales have fallen, with young girls choosing the Monster High dolls, currently number 2 on the market. Although Barbie is still number 1, she has increased competition in the doll market, with the Bratz dolls also competing for sales.

The article uses Lamm’s body makeover Barbie as an example of the common criticism that Barbie leads to body image issues with young girls, which is one reason sales may be falling.

Another article, published on Alabama news site AL.com, recounts the story of a man who collects Barbies and has over 6,000 of the dolls.

The writer says that it’s unlikely the man would collection Barbies if the doll didn’t have such idealized proportions.

She writes, “Artist Nickolay Lamm created ‘Normal Barbie’ earlier this year using measurements of an average 19-year-old woman. She’s a bit more booty-licious than Perfect Barbie, much shorter and with larger feet that don’t walk on tiptoes. That last one always confused me as a child. When I couldn’t find tiny matching shoes, I had to envision Barbie wearing invisible heels. Otherwise, she would just look like she had some sort of colon disorder, walking that way. Normal Barbie also isn’t as ab-tacular as Perfect Barbie, although she can still rock a tiny bikini.”

Of his Barbie projects, Lamm previously said, “I created normal Barbie because I wanted to show that average is beautiful. If average-looking Barbie looks this good and if there's even a chance of Barbie negatively influencing young girls, why not make one?”

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Reporter's Photo Sep 30, 2013 11:06 AM EDT

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