Barbie’s 3D Printed Makeover

Posted by in Art

first glance, the iconic Barbie Doll looks innocent enough in the hands of a
young child, but a side-by-side with Nickolay Lamm’s anatomically accurate doll
reveals the ludicrously distorted proportions of Mattel’s classic stand-by– if
she existed in real life. Lamm generated a 3D model from the average
measurements of a 19 year-old girl, send it to a 3D printer, and photoshopped the
resulting figure into the Barbie’s likeness. 

work examines how standards of beauty are approaching increasingly impossible
limits. Nothing articulates this more than the Barbie Doll, which represents to
many children the pinnacle of elegance and womanhood. Ever since the doll’s introduction in 1959, there’s been much ado about how it affects body perceptions. Some suggest that Barbie’s measurements are so far from Vitruvian that if she were to walk among us, the top-heavy lady would topple
with ease (as any kid who has tried to stand the doll already knows.) This begs the
question, are we so accustomed to seeing impossible body types that
reintroducing a natural figure is exotic, and even newsworthy?

here at Shapeways think Lamm’s doll looks great herself. We look forward to
seeing how 3D printing can empower artists like Lamm to change the way we see.


  1. Pamela Waterman

    Fantastic creation/comparison, showing what we’ve known for decades (especially in the Society of Women Engineers, though this comment is my own) but hadn’t been able to see so clearly. Bring it on.

  2. ptsuk

    cool use of 3d printing, however barbie as the “standard of beauty” is about as ridiculous as young boys thinking they should model their looks after Gi-Joe or heaven forbid He-Man action figures with the extra ripply side muscles. I think the media is at fault for pushing this “concept” that barbie is the “standard of beauty” and not barbie or barbies owners.

    I mean if I modeled myself after Gi-Joe I’m pretty pissed since I don’t have that classic “kung-fu grip”!

  3. sebastian

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