After artist Nickolay Lamm saw this viral altered photo of Barbie without make-up he thought to himself Surely Barbie can’t look this bad?! So he went to his local toy shop and took photos of various dolls in their boxes and even bought a few to take home to shoot better angles of. After photographing the Barbie and Bratz dolls faces, he worked with fellow artist Nikolett Mérész to help remove their makeup digitally in Photoshop and strip them down to look as natural as possible. And the results are really breathtaking; the dolls, of course, are beautiful without the makeup.
I was stunned when I clicked through Nickolay’s doll comparison experiment, as I think the dolls look prettier, softer, and more approachable without the brightly layered eyeshadows, impossibly long eyelashes, and bold lips. And if these dolls are marketed towards children, mostly to little girls of an age before they can really conceptualize things like makeup and trying to make ourselves look prettier than we are with said makeup, then why do the already pretty faced dolls need the makeup at all? And though I’m not lucky enough to have children, I wondered how this could be affecting little girls subconsciously?
To be fair, the one doll I thought was already acceptable was the Disney Princess Cinderalla Doll. With only a few eyelashes and soft pink lips, I think it was just the right amount of exaggerated beauty and looked much like the character seen onscreen as well.
Click through Lamm’s before and after dolls without makeup and tell me what you think?