By now, everyone has probably heard at least a little bit about the Lammily doll. She’s a realistic Barbie-style doll that has average proportions and comes with stickers of things like pimples, cellulite, stretch marks, and scars to help girls see more of themselves in their toys. Pretty cool, right? Well, she just got another real-life accessory and it’s causing some pearl-clutching among parents on the internet.
This week Nickolay Lamm, Lammily’s creator, announced a new accessory pack for the doll called “Period Party.” The accessories don’t actually make the doll get a period, but they do give her all the supplies for it. The pack includes underwear and maxi pad stickers, a calendar for period tracking, and a pamphlet with facts about menstruation.
Lamm says he designed the doll with his mom to help combat the taboo of menstruation and give parents a tool to teach their daughters about it. As he told Time magazine, “It’s what happens in real life. We wanted to put it on the doll so it’s not a scary thing.”
It’s a first in the world of dolls, but it’s really not that crazy of an idea. Dolls are used primarily for imaginative play and most young girls are curious about menstruation. I remember stealing a pad out of the box under my mom’s sink when I was a kid so I could “practice” having my period. The idea that young girls could use a doll to address their questions and prepare for such a big milestone seems actually pretty cool — or, at least it does to me.
It turns out other people are very, very concerned about make-believe doll periods.
The fact that grown adults are so squeamish about a doll wearing maxi pad stickers is pretty much the reason this “Period Party” accessory pack was created in the first place. Too often menstruation is treated like something gross and dirty. There’s such a stigma attached to it that people aren’t even willing to entertain what a revolutionary idea this is.
Lamm told Scary Mommy that it’s mostly fear and misunderstanding that are causing such outrage. Says Lamm,”I feel that some people have made up their mind about the product before giving it a chance. If they were to see the commercial or to look at what’s inside the product, they’d perhaps be more open to it.”
He also explained that the doll isn’t meant to replace parental guidance or introduce kids to anything they aren’t ready for. “I’ve heard that some parents think something like this should only be between parents and their kids,” says Lamm. “All this is is a tool for parents, rather than replacing that conversation in any way. It’s just a fun tool to assist in the conversation.”
According to Kids Health, girls as young as 8 years old are already getting their periods. That means elementary school kids are dealing with menstruation, often before their parents have even thought to broach the subject. A doll like Lammily gives parents a fun and easy way to start the conversation. Plus, it helps young girls understand that what’s going on with their bodies is totally normal. Just because we’re not used to talking about periods doesn’t mean they’re perverted or risqué. Menstruation is a normal thing that very young kids are dealing with, and it’s time for us to stop making it a source of shame.