Before embracing the reassuring claim that “average is beautiful,” consider the CDC statistics behind Lammily’s physique. Based on a representative sample of 118 people, the agency reports that the average 19-year-old female American stands 5 feet 4 inches tall. She has a 33.6-inch waist and a 14.1-inch upper arm. She weighs 150 pounds, giving her a body mass index of 25.5. That indicates that she is overweight. BMI is, however, a crude and controversial measure. Better are the CDC’s direct body-fat measurements. They confirm the same bad news: The average 19-year-old’s body is about 32 percent fat, just at the threshold for obesity.
If Lammily were true to life, in other words, she’d have rolls of fat, not a firm plastic tummy. Her figure would turn off both beauty-minded girls and health-conscious parents.
To make her excess poundage appealing, her creator has made his supposedly average doll an athlete. “She is fit and strong,” proclaims his website, showing the doll posed as a runner and standing with her foot on a ball. She isn’t fat. She’s muscular, with the kind of perfect bubble butt that requires great genes and many hours in the gym. The average 19-year-old may not have oversized thighs because she’s a budding Serena Williams, but it’s nice to pretend so.