Last week, I was introduced to 27-year-old Ukranian woman Valeria Lukyanova. Haven’t heard of her? Neither had I until some random trawling through news sites brought up a recent story featuring her.
Valeria is tall and pin-thin, sports a perky bust and comes complete with waist-length tresses of long blonde hair. Sound familiar? I’ll give you another hint: think Mattel.
That’s right, Valeria is known as the “human Barbie”. Apparently, she is an internet sensation after undergoing years and years of plastic surgery that has ridiculously nipped in her waist, plumped up her breasts and made her resemble the toy icon. She evens dons a pair of big glassy eyes to make her look more “authentic”.
As a result, Valeria has garnered herself a legion of fans – her YouTube videos
both have thousands of likes – and she has become the literal poster girl for the trend known as ‘human doll plastic surgery phenomenon’.
If you haven’t already I urge you to have a look at some of the images here
and perhaps even this YouTube clip
where Valeria admits to having a permanently tilted head because her neck is too thin and frail (yes really).
God, there are just so many scary/damaging/ disturbing moral issues with this I just don’t know where to start without suffering a conniption.
But this also begs the larger question: how have I missed this? And what does this say about the influence of Barbie in our formative years?
Like many, I had multiple Barbie dolls as a child and loved dressing them up, cutting their hair and having them all hook up with my one Ken doll (who knew he was such a player?).
But thankfully – and largely due to other strong female role models in my life – I have never felt like she was the ideal to aspire to. A fun figurine to play out my fantasy storylines, yes. But a real-life role model who I’d want to grow up and be like? Absolutely not.
Like any inquisitive journalist, I am now ravenous to know more about Valeria’s upbringing and background. Did she grow up an obsessed child surrounded by hundreds of the dolls? Or, did she have a sad childhood where her only joy came from pretending that one day she would be as perfect as Barbie and finally accepted?
What are your thoughts on this phenomenon? Had you heard of this ‘human doll plastic surgery’ trend before?
As a sobering after-thought, I think you should all click through to this link
courtesy of The Huffington Post.
Here it you will find a picture of model Katie Halchishick covered in texta depicting Barbie’s proportions on a real woman’s body. These measurements are nothing new, but drawn onto a healthy body the ridiculousness of such ideals of perfection (and Valeria’s quest too) are made all the more apparent. Jessica Montague is madison’s acting features associate. You can follow her on Twitter here