You've seen 'normal Barbie', now meet 'Dad Bod Ken'

By Pieter van Zyl
14 March 2016

Just like little girls, boys can also be vulnerable to unrealistic expectations about how their bodies should look -- so are super-chiselled action figures as bad for their self esteem as stick-thin Barbies are for girls?

That's exactly why toy brand Lammily's Nickolay Lamm designed the new "realistic" Boy Lammily with his plumper “dad bod”.

Each doll will have a story about who he is and what he does, and children can choose a name for them. PHOTO: Facebook Each doll will have a story about who he is and what he does, and children can choose a name for them. PHOTO: Facebook

“I feel men also feel pressure in the form of not being tall enough, not having enough hair and not having enough muscle,” says the company's founder and designer.

“I think these are things few talk about because as a guy you’re kind of expected to not worry too much about your appearance and because women face beauty standards on another level.”

The “dad bod” was born out of American university student Mackenzie Pearson’s the blog, in which she wrote, “In case you’ve missed it, girls are crazy about the dad bod”. PHOTO: Facebook The “dad bod” was born out of American university student Mackenzie Pearson’s the blog, in which she wrote, “In case you’ve missed it, girls are crazy about the dad bod”. PHOTO: Facebook

Two years ago Nickolay, an American graphic designer and researcher, introduced his Lammily dolls, also known as “Normal Barbies”, as a counter to unrealistic standards of what’s beautiful in a woman.

His dolls have more realistic proportions such as larger thighs and chest measurements that reflect the average measurement of 19-year-olds. Recently educational accessories such as pamphlets on menstruation and stickers allowing children to stick pimples, stretch marks, cellulite and mosquito bites onto their dolls were added.

Read more: For the first time ever – this adorable little boy is the face of Barbie

The Boy Lammily’s measurements and BMI (body-mass index) were taken from the average of American men between 19 and 24 years old, as supplied by America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At present the male doll is still a digital prototype but with crowd funding Nickolay hopes to get the dolls onto the shelves as soon as possible. Each doll will have a story about who he is and what he does, and children can choose a name for them.

This news about these male dolls comes hot on the heels of Mattel’s announcement that Barbie will now be available in various body types.

Read more: Barbie’s finally getting a more realistic figure

The “dad bod” was born out of American university student Mackenzie Pearson’s the blog, in which she wrote, “In case you’ve missed it, girls are crazy about the dad bod”.

A slightly plumper male doll for girls to play with and cherish could make boys feel better about their “normal” bodies. PHOTO: Facebook A slightly plumper male doll for girls to play with and cherish could make boys feel better about their “normal” bodies. PHOTO: Facebook

“Men can celebrate because knocking back a couple of beers after work instead of sweating in the gym counts in their favour these days. While we all agree that a muscled body is desirable, there’s something about a dad bod that makes it more human, natural and attractive,” Mackenzie wrote.

“Guys with the dad bod aren’t overweight but they don’t have chiselled stomach muscles.

"In addition you don’t have to feel under pressure to look your best, it’s nicer to embrace a plump partner at night and it’s more fun to enjoy food with someone.”

Well-known dad bods are Leonardo DiCaprio, Alec Baldwin and Val Kilmer, Pierce Brosnan and Bill Murray. “The most common body shape among men is the apple shape, says Cape Town dietician Deborah Talbot.

“The fact of the matter is that it’s more difficult to retain your trim body as you get older,” says Pretoria counsellor Dr Gary Elliott. “Men also struggle with self-acceptance.”

A slightly plumper male doll for girls to play with and cherish could make boys feel better about their “normal” bodies.

Sources: Nickolaylamm.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Eonline.com, Today.com, Stuff.co.za, People, OK! magazine, Bang Showbiz, Daily Mail.

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