The award winning Lottie Doll has recently been introduced to Canada from UK based company, Arklu. The company worked with numerous industry experts, nutritionists, child psychologists, parents and even girls themselves in order to create a bosy positive doll.
There were three points that impacted the company's decision to create Lottie dolls for young girls:
1) The overexposure to ideal body image at a young age
2) The oversexualized nature of most toys/media
3) The desire for girls to not miss out on their childhood
"Toys are not just toys,” Arklu co-founder Lucie Follett told the Star. “When they have overly sexualized bodies they can have damaging impacts on girls’ self image.”
In order to address the issue of early exposure of sexualized media, Lottie was developed with the scientific proportions of a healthy nine year old child (except for her head and eyes). This means no breasts or tiny waists. Lottie dolls do not wear jewellry, makeup, high heels or have tattoos...and can even stand on their own two feet (something Barbie has never been able to do). Lottie dolls clothing is also based on that of what a nine year old girl would wear as opposed to adult clothing. Lottie clothing ranges from pretty dresses to fun outdoor wear for messy play!
The company is in the process of launching books based on the Lottie doll character. The company describes Lottie's character as feisty and that "whilst she occasionally makes mistakes, she learns from them. Lottie loves adventure and the outdoors and has fun with the simplest of things; she loves using her imagination and when she’s not outdoors she loves crafting new things, reading, or practicing her dance."
Sounds like this company is on the right track to offering an alternative source of doll play that provides an alternative to the ideal body image that Barbie promotes. The fact, however, is that either way dolls are not reflective of true human bodies. If we can teach this to children, then it is more likely they will be able to see the differences themselves.
What do you think about Lottie dolls? Are they really a source of positive body image?