'Normal Barbie' helps girls learn about menstrual cycle

'Normal Barbie' helps girls learn about menstrual cycle
(Source: Lammily LLC)
(Source: Lammily LLC)

(WTVM) – Talking to a young woman about her menstrual cycle may make some parents uncomfortable, but a doll that got attention for its "normal" look has new accessories that can help with that.

Lammily, the Kickstarter-funded company that received lots of attention with its "normal Barbie" in late 2014 announced on Tuesday that their doll can have a menstrual cycle to help teach young women about their bodies.

Nickolay Lamm, of Lammily LLC, said young women shouldn't be afraid to talk about their periods – and that society shouldn't make them feel ashamed of their developing bodies.

"Menstruation is still a taboo in our society. More than that - sometimes it's still used as an insult," Lamm said. "I just don't think that something as core to a women's life and health as menstruation should be seen as embarrassing in any way, shape, or form. If it weren't for menstruation, I wouldn't even be alive right now! So why not celebrate it, why not make it as accepted as any other bodily function?"

Lammily even created a YouTube video advertisement of the doll's newest set-up, where two parents awkwardly talk to their pre-teen daughter about her period.

"I'm sure that some people will think that this is a strange product, some may disapprove, and some people may even think that this is 'making fun' of menstruation," Lamm said. "But I feel there's a very big difference between making fun of something and making something fun, especially if we are talking about a very important topic, which may be difficult to approach, for many kids and parents alike."

The "Period Party" includes one educational pamphlet, one pair of panties for the doll, 18 reusable colored pads and lines stickers, one calendar and doc stickers for $10. The pack is available on Lammily.com.

"I've read horror stories of kids thinking that they were dying during their first period. Parents are also wary of approaching this subject. So I feel Lammily's 'Period Party' can introduce kids to menstruation in a very fun and disarming way, and give parents a very useful tool," Lamm said. "What can be more disarming than a doll having menstruation?"

Just like comprehensive sex education at school, the doll is used as a support tool for learning about human development.

"I heard that some parents think that something like this should only be between parents and their kids, and that a doll shouldn't replace that. All this is a tool for parents, rather than replacing that conversation in any way, it's just a fun tool to assist in that conversation," Lamm said.

Lamm said since they were first made available in January, more than 40,000 Lammily dolls have been sold.

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