Meet the Dolls that Fight Unrealistic Male Body Image

April 9th 2016

Kylie Cheung

It's true that women face nearly impossible beauty standards, but too many unrealistic standards exist for men, too. Nickolay Lamm, founder of Boy Lammily, has recently created a doll to address this.

Lamm — the brains behind the 2014 body-positive female dolls that teach girls about their periods — recently developed the male version due to popular demand, according to Mental Floss.

“I feel men also feel pressure in the form of not being tall, not having enough hair, not having enough muscle, etc,” Lamm told Mental Floss. “I think those are things which few talk about because, as a guy, you're kind of expected not to worry too much about your appearance and because women face beauty standards on another level.”

As with Lamm's female dolls, the goal of these new male dolls is to demonstrate that real bodies are beautiful bodies.

While eating disorders and body image struggles are often exclusively associated with women, one study by the National Eating Disorders Association found that 10 million American men will have an eating disorder in their lifetime, and 25 percent of men with healthy body weights perceive themselves as underweight and not muscular enough.

Body positivity for men is slowly gaining ground.

Through his body-positive dolls, Lamm acknowledges how both men and women struggle with body image issues due to unrealistic media representation. The Boy Lammily dolls is closely related to the "dadbod," the viral trend that drew attention to plus-size male figures with a "gut." Though the intention of the concept wasn't malicious — highlighting the fact that many men experience weight gain after having children — many saw it as double standard as women are still pressured to lose "baby weight" and look a certain way post-pregnancy.

Boy Lammily dolls signify progress in terms of both accepting different male body types and the fact that men experience insecurity, too. But as ATTN: reported earlier this month, to some, body positivity for men remains a joke. American Eagle's Aerie Man campaign turned out to be an April Fool's Day prank, garnering criticism for not taking male body positivity seriously. Meanwhile, Hollywood films and toys continue to promote unrealistic images of the male body, insinuating that to be attractive, men should be muscular, cut, and strong.

Lammily dolls are available for pre-order at the Lammily website and can be supported through its online fundraising campaign.

(h/t Mental Floss)