We’ve known for a while that Barbie’s body is impossibly petite. Her slender figure and absurdly small waist don’t leave enough room for her internal organs, and her tiny ankles and feet would actually force her to move around on all fours. Still, the Mattel icon remains a standard of beauty for many young girls — sometimes with damaging results. When we spotted an art project inspired by Barbie’s cruel measurements, which we feature past the break, we felt compelled to round up other artworks that challenge the status quo surrounding female body image. Some of these works confront and criticize the twisted ideologies, while others show solidarity in the struggle for more body-positive representations of women.
Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm recreated Mattel’s iconic doll using the proportions of the average 19-year-old woman, as reported by the CDC. (You can dig into some of those stats if you’re curious.) “I created normal Barbie because I wanted to show that average is beautiful,” Lamm told Today. “If average-looking Barbie looks this good, and if there’s even a chance of Barbie negatively influencing young girls, why not make one?”