Here's a little Christmas present I bought for myself. Well ... if it didn't happen to be Christmas, I would have made up another excuse! The Lammily doll has been designed to be the most realistic-looking doll available. The artist who designed Lammily wanted an alternative to the increasingly skinny and unrealistic-looking fashion dolls on the market. Actual data on the average measurements of young women was used to shape every part of the body. I first heard about Lammily in the culture section of my preferred TV news and, thanks to the power of the internet, the purchase was made practically before the end of the next ad break. And now she has finally (i.e. 10 days later) arrived!
What a neat package! It's smaller than I thought it would be. The doll box fits inside the packaging with no room to spare. There's no waste of packing materials. I like that!
The front of the box has a beautiful illustration of Lammily with her suitcase. There's a lovely message to all the crowdfunding supporters on the back of the box. The door opens up to reveal a booklet slipped inside. The booklet tells a lovely story of Lammily's journey throughout the world, doing lots of interesting things, including eating croissants and fixing a bike. I can't imagine certain other dolls doing that!
The flap that the booklet was attached to opens up to finally reveal the Lammily doll. She's dressed in the same denim shorts and shirt from the booklet illustrations (and from all of the pictures I've seen of her online!). I like it much better than the bikini some dolls come in, and the ombre on the shirt gives it a trendy touch. The clothes fasten with velcro. As a kid, I always struggled with press studs, having to slip my fingernail in between them to pry them apart. The fabric they were attached to inevitably got ripped. Then again, I never liked doll clothes with velcro fastenings, either. Just call me fussy. The velcro on Lammily's clothes is softer and less stiff than I remember from my old Barbie dolls, though.
Lammily's shoulders, wrists and ankles are ball-jointed. Her knees and elbows have snap joints. Her hair is extremely soft, lovely to the touch. The expression on her face is friendly and quietly confident.
There's only one slight concern I have with the doll, and that's the feet. I had to be very careful taking the shoes off. The ankle joint moves at the slightest touch -- a couple of times when I was posing her, I suddenly found one of her feet had turned completely backwards, which was vaguely disturbing. A bit like the foot exorcist!
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Lammily doll, with comparisons between her and certain other dolls on the market. She surely looks different to the dolls I played with as a kid. Yet somehow, she looks familiar. It occurs to me -- she looks more like me. She has the same sturdy, strong legs as I do. Her waist looks more like a person's. Her hair (aside from not having a fringe) is a lot like mine. She doesn't wear crazy, bright blue 80s makeup. ... Well, I've been known to do that on occasion, but not every day! ...
It's hard to say what the effect of playing with unrealistic-looking fashion dolls had on me as a kid. I knew I didn't look like them. I never wanted to look like them. My main interest was making clothes and accessories for them, so I viewed their bodies more as shapes to be decorated, rather than human beings in miniature.
Having said that, when I viewed the video on YouTube showing why Lammily was created, I shed a few tears. So perhaps the effect goes deeper than I realised.
When I grew a little older, I became disillusioned with Barbies, but still remembered the fun I had making outfits for them. I always told myself that if a realistically-proportioned doll was ever produced, I would get one and take up the hobby again. And now here she is. I'm not sure yet what I'll call her though.
This YouTube video has an unboxing, review and some discussion on Lammily and body image.
This blog post has pictures of Lammily with no clothes on (for the easily embarrassed, don't worry, she has plastic undies embossed on), and shows her full range of movement, and comparisons with other dolls.