A Barbie Doll Modeled After the Average American Woman

There is a huge discrepancy between the height, weight and waist circumference of the ‘average’ woman 20 years old and older and that of the toy maker Mattel’s “Barbie” doll. See how an artist captures this difference using a 3D model and Photoshop to make the model look like a Barbie.

What would a child’s Barbie doll actually look like if she were modeled after the average American woman? An article written by Nina Bahadur in The Huffington Post on July 1, 2013 is very telling, indeed!

Artist Nickolay Lamm used average height, weight and waist circumference data from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for women age 20 years old and over to create a 3-D model that looks like the “average” American woman.  What does she look like? Well, she is 5’ 3 ¾” (63.8 inches), weighs 166.2 lbs and has a waist circumference of 37 ½ inches. Lamm then used Photoshop® to edit the 3-D model to make it look like a Barbie doll.

Then, Lamm photographed this “average American Barbie” doll next to a standard Barbie doll, like millions of children around the world play with. How different do they look? Very different, it turns out.

Here is a photograph;














An interesting question is, what effect is the image of the “ideal” Barbie having on young girls body image?

In an email to The Huffington Post, Lamm said “If we criticize skinny models, we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls as well.”



1. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Measured average height, weight, and waist circumference for adults ages 20 years and over, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/bodymeas.htm

2. Normal’ Barbie By Nickolay Lamm Shows Us What Mattel Dolls Might Look Like If Based On Actual Women, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/normal-barbie-nickolay-lamm_n_3529460.html