When Lovato saw photos this week comparing a more realistic doll, a model created by independent artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm, to the twiggy Barbie sold worldwide by El Segundo toymaker Mattel Inc., she tweeted that it was “amazing.”
And in a separate missive to her more than 15 million Twitter followers – many of them young girls – she wrote: “That new @barbie’s got BACK!!!!!...#bootybootybootyboottrockineverywhere.”
Lamm, 24, said in an interview that he wanted to show “that Barbie is unrealistic.”
“If average can be beautiful, why can’t Mattel make normal-looking dolls instead of ones that look alien,” he said.
He then used digital modeling and a 3-D printer to create an all-white figurine. For the side-by-side photos with Mattel’s Barbie, Lamm added skin tone, hair and a bikini using Photoshop.
He said he originally planned to make a full physical replica of the doll but is now thinking of launching a Kickstarter project to fund the process. First, though, he said he would have to “rebrand it so Mattel doesn’t sue me for a million dollars.”
Global sales of the doll slipped 3% in 2012.
For now, he has no plans to make an equivalent doll modeled on Barbie’s paramour, Ken.
“It would distract from the message I’m trying to send to young girls,” he said. “Women have such higher standards to live up to.”
Case in point: Valeria Lukyanova, a Ukrainian woman who has altered her features and body to better resemble the iconic doll.
Earlier Friday, Lukyanova wrote on her @BarbieHumana_ Twitter profile: “I hope [to] be forever young :’3”