Barbie Vs. Lammily: Compare and Contrast

Average Is Beautiful

On March 9, 1959, Barbie made her debut in New York at the American International Toy Fair in New York. This year there is a new girl in town, and she is stealing the limelight for Barbie Day (March 9). Her name is Lammily. Lammily is a Barbie-like doll with realistic dimensions. Her creator, Nickolay Lamm, recently created a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to launch his doll. The artist reached his target of $95,000 in just one day. Lamm’s slogan for his doll is “Average is beautiful”. NEW video – How do children respond to Lammily?

Authentic Materials for Classroom Discussion

Do you enjoy using authentic materials in the classroom? Why not show this video about “Lammily”? You could also share this article about “Lammily” from Mashable.

Vocabulary and Expressions from the Lammily Video

  • give someone the lowdown
  • distorted
  • proportions
  • to go viral
  • the response was overwhelming
  • backers (of a project)
  • digital renderings
  • articulated elbows (flexible joints)

Discussion Questions

  1. What features does Lammily have to make her “realistic”?
  2. Many people are calling this doll “normal Barbie”. What is normal? Is it really possible to make a doll based on an “average teen”?
  3. Which expert has Nickolay Lamm been consulting with? Do you think this will benefit his project?
  4. Barbie is striking a pose in the recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Do you think this is appropriate? Why or why not? What does the word unapologetic mean, and why would it be used in articles about this marketing campaign
  5. What do you think of the name “Lammily”? Where do you think it came from, and do you think it will stick?
  6. How important is the naming of a toy in relation to its success? What are some of the best-named toys on the market?
  7. Do you agree that “average is beautiful”? Is this a good slogan for the doll?
  8. How did Lamm use crowdsourcing to generate interest and funding for his doll? (Check out his campaign here.) Would use considering using a crowdsourcing service such as Kickstarter? What does “kickstart” mean?

Compare and Contrast

Barbie Lesson PlanOur lesson plan library has a ready-made lesson plan about Barbie. You can find it in our Mini-Bios section. As a fun project, you could have half of your class research “Barbie,” and the other half research “Lammily”. Have your students compare and contrast these dolls.  (If your students need practice with comparative adjectives, we have a Grammar Practice Worksheet lesson plan.) They could even conduct interviews with young girls to see which doll they would rather have. Please note that our mini-bio lessons are designed for beginner to low-intermediate learners.

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