The future of toys for boys? This new doll is more like actual men ... and less like Ken.

We talk a lot about girls and women having negative body image thanks to the endless barrage of unattainable standards presented by the media.

But what about boys?


Are boys' perceptions of themselves negatively affected by being presented with unattainable standards of physical appearance?

Photo by iStock.

Nickolay Lamm thinks so — and he wants to do something about it. Lamm is the creative mastermind behind the original Lammily doll, a realistic Barbie-type doll that he created based on the CDC's measurements of an average 19-year-old woman.

Now, he's back and ready to tackle the issues he feels boys and men face: to be tall and muscular, to have a full head of hair, and a whole lot more.

"It would be unfair to ignore the fact that boys too are affected," he told Welcometoterranova.

From his desire to begin chipping away at these unrealistic standards for boys and men came the newest Lammily doll:

Photos provided by Nickolay Lamm, used with permission.

This doll was created based on the proportions of the average 19-year-old man, provided by a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Lamm is currently crowd funding to begin producing and selling it.

Unlike other dolls (ahem, Ken), the focus of this one isn't six-pack abs and impressive quad muscles. It's on him as a person — his personality and how he treats others.

The website sums up the new Lammily doll:

"Lammily Redefines What It Means to Be Manly
He may not have a six-pack, but he has a fantastic sense of humor.
He may not have the biggest biceps, but he has a big heart.
He may not look like a runway model, but he values himself for who he truly is, and always makes sure to pay the same respect to others!
In following with these themes, a storybook pamphlet will be included with each doll illustrating his background story."



"With the realistically proportioned boy dolls, I want to show boys that you don't have to look like a superhero to be a superhero," Lamm explained.

He recognizes the pressure on girls and women is more overt and unrelenting, but it's not right to ignore the pressure boys feel simply because it's not as severe.

He hopes that the new Lammily doll is a step in the right direction.

Whether we want to talk about it or not, boys have self-esteem issues too.

"Many men are unable to achieve the cultural body ideal due to genetics or other factors, and they feel less worthy as a result," said Jennifer Carter, a psychologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center who specializes in sports psychology and eating disorders for both men and women.

"It is well documented that boys and men have increasing negative body image, and those negative thoughts and feelings about themselves can affect self-esteem."

However, Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child and family psychotherapist and author of "The Self-Aware Parent," pointed out that while "boys experience negative self esteem about their appearance ... the focus is less important for males than females." She noted that men "face different challenges including endowment with sports and athletic prowess, earning power, and the kind of car they drive."

The question is, will the new dolls make a difference?

While Walfish is a little more reserved in her optimism — "boys do not gravitate toward doll play with the same frequency and urgency as girls," she noted — Carter felt good about the dolls. "I think introducing a variety of body sizes that accurately reflect real bodies for both genders has great potential to positively influence body image and self-esteem," she said.

Lamm launched the crowd funding just two days ago and is over one-third of the way to his goal, so it's safe to say that people are ready for this! If you'd like to support the campaign or pre-order a doll, you can do so by visiting his site.

It's not every day that you see an NFL player sporting a jersey of a professional female athlete. In fact, if most of us wrack our brains, we probably can't think of any day that we've seen that.

So when Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, walked out of the locker room after last night's last-minute win against the Minnesota Vikings, people took notice of his shirt—a yellow and green jersey with the name and number of Sue Bird, the Seattle Storm WNBA superstar player. The Storm just took home their fourth WNBA National Championship title.

But that wasn't all he did.

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Photo courtesy of Lily Read
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Now more than ever, teachers are America's unsung heroes. They are taking on the overwhelming task of not only educating our children but finding creative and effective ways to do it in an unpredictable virtual learning environment.

Lily Read and Justin Bernard, two Massachusetts educators from one of the most diverse public high schools in the U.S. (over 25 different languages are spoken in the student body!), feel ready to meet the challenges of this unprecedented school year. Their goal: find ways to make virtual education "as joyful as possible" to help support teenagers during quarantine.

"Our school is very economically, racially, and linguistically diverse," said Read, "which means meeting the needs for all those students is incredibly complex." That wide range of diversity means that they spend a lot of time in professional development, preparing to meet students where they are. This summer, educators in their district spent weeks learning everything from how to provide emotional and social support via virtual platforms, to meeting 504 plans and Individual Educational Plans for disabled students virtually, to mastering the various online programs necessary for instruction.

Bernard, now in his fifth year of teaching, also coaches the high school football team. Prior to the pandemic, there were clear expectations for student athletes, with clear goals and incentives to keep their grades up. Now, Bernard is concerned that student athletes will begin to fall through the cracks without the structure of physically going to school each day, and he is on a mission to do everything he can to keep that from happening.

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Ever since Donald J. Trump won the Republican primary in 2016, I've had so many questions. Four years later, most of them still remain unanswered.

For example how does a man who has had so many failed businesses convince people he's a great businessman? How does a man who was fined $2 million for using misusing charitable donations for his own political gain convince people he's charitable? How does a man who paid a $25 million settlement to students he defrauded with his fake "university" convince people he'll be trustworthy with the highest office in the land? How does a man who the entire country heard say he "tried to f*ck" a married woman and grabs women "by the p*ssy" get any women to vote for him? How could a man who cheated on all three of his wives, paid hush money to a porn star, spends his Sunday mornings golfing instead of going to church, and dodges questions about the Bible gain the adoration of evangelical Christians?

It's that last question that has perhaps been the most baffling one to me. Especially considering the super devout Christian beliefs of his vice president and running mate, Mike Pence. Like, how does that even work?

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Sometimes a politician says or does something so brazenly gross that you have to do a double take to make sure it really happened. Take, for instance, this tweet from Lauren Witzke, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Witzke defeated the party's endorsed candidate to win the primary, has been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, supports the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a U.S. government inside operation, and has called herself a flat earther.

So that's neat.

Witzke has also proposed a 10-year total halt on immigration to the U.S., which is absurd on its face, but makes sense when you see what she believes about immigrants. In a tweet this week, Witzke wrote, "Most third-world migrants can not assimilate into civil societies. Prove me wrong."

First, let's talk about how "civil societies" and developing nations are not different things, and to imply that they are is racist, xenophobic, and wrong. Not to mention, it has never been a thing to refer people using terms like "third-world." That's a somewhat outdated term for developing nations, and it was never an adjective to describe people from those nations even when it was in use.

Next, let's see how Twitter thwapped Lauren Witzke straight into the 21st century by proving her wrong in the most delicious way. Not only did people share how they or their relatives and friends have successfully "assimilated," but many showed that they went way, way beyond that.

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