Monday, February 1, 2016

Real Change...

I was so excited to read that Mattel have jumped onto the #bodypositive #downwithunrealisticstandards bandwagon and introduced a new, progressive line of Barbies with actual curves - actual height - actual petite body types and over 22 new types of eye colours, 24 new hairstyles (including Mohawks) new and various skin tones and other distinguishable features that little people see in the mirror and around them every day. The new, more evolved Barbies? Well, they're not perfectly not perfect yet...but it's a bloody good start in the right direction.

My sister and I were ALL ABOUT BARBIE and her BFFs when we were small, impressionable women and although, personally I never paid too much attention nor really cared about my Barbie's uber slim bobble-headed physique (she was too busy bonking my 90210 'Dylan' Luke Perry doll), I think young girls these days have a bigger battle to contend with. With the rise and ever growing dominance of social media, a larger pool of crazy-thin celeb 'role models' and the push to be even more body conscious, the unrealistic standard of beauty is bigger, more bossy and more of an in-your-face arsehole than ever before.

Personally I am a MASSIVE fan of curves - to me, they're more interesting to draw (think Rubens). There's something inherently beautiful about the all-natural-all-normal female form that makes me feel comfortable and makes the environment a lot less tailored to recreate on paper. Let's face it - boobs, bums and tummies can be a hell of a lot easier to maintain for a lot of women and as a large demographic proves, they're the norm. Women who can embrace a genuine love and acceptance of their shape are both lucky creatures and tragically very rare - only 3% of women in the UK alone are completely happy with their body - Something about pendulous boobs and a big apple bum is so much fun to put into paint because it is so, fundamentally real. The same feeling of 'enjoying the natural shape' goes for when I'm drawing a handsomely rotund Eugene The Chicken.

NOTE. I'm not ruling out or condemning slim women or belittling naturally larger women either - genetics are genetics, if you have the propensity to carry a particular body type? it should be embraced and accepted and loved. Naturally slim physiques exist of course, women also work hard to create a healthy body built on the foundations of a proper, substantial diet and a healthy dose of exercise for the purpose of feeding the soul, the body and the mind and this should absolutely be endorsed. 'Healthy' and 'happy' is priority over obsessive, damaging thinking no matter your size and no, it's often not easy for a lot of us.

During my research of Barbie's bangin' new bods - I stumbled across 'Lammily' and was reminded that she was here first (dreamed up by Nickolay Lamm in 2014)...a more stout framed girl with half as much make up, thick and unkempt hair, a more robust physique and a hell of a lot more real than her Barbie girlfriends. Not only is Lammily a sportswoman, a Photographer, a Doctor and a Veteran, but Lammily also (to my utter surprise and delight) comes with her very own pack of add-on pimples and stretchmarks, cellulite, moles and other birthmarks, scars, acne, tattoos and a variety of potential birth defects that we witness and experience throughout our individual lives as both young and older women, through childhood, puberty and adulthood (think birth marks, teen acne, stretch-mark growth marks...or a postpartum Cesarean scar) G-R-L has it all.

Another add-on Lammily feature sees Lammily equipped with her own undies, complete with a book of teeny tiny sanitary pad stickers and information all about periods and what to expect. (How fucking cool is that?) The add on is aptly called: 'Period Party' which might not be my idea of the most awesome party vibes...but each to their own, hey?...Lammily is the forerunner for teaching little ladies how to put pads into their undies and how to not freak-the-fuck-out when one day, rather unexpectedly, you start bleeding from your body for a few days a month. WOT.

I'm torn because on the one hand - I'm desperate to pre-order my very own curvy Barbie, purely to tap into my old school Barbie nostalgia but with a beautiful twist...and to place her on my desk as a reminder that young women are slowly starting to be introduced to a new way of thinking and an ever so slightly more realistic and comfortable standard of beauty. On the other hand...I also want a Lammily doll so I can make her a spotty, cellulite and bloody beauty just like I was during those delightfully awkward years growing into a curvy, spotty Lammily woman...

Also, check out this amazing lady if you want to look more into the healthy doll takeover...

Oh and don't even get me started on Monster High...

#barbie #squadgoals (My pick is the young lady to the far right. She is listed as 'Curvy Barbie with Emoji Waistcoat) I mean, seriously. Want.

(Dat face tho)

Period Party...

Lammily (KWEEN)

a WARTS N' ALL pack 'Lammily Marks'

New edition 'Photographer' Lammily complete with windswept hair!

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