Living Dolls

A Real Barbie

The odds of a real-life woman possessing the relative proportions of a body like Barbie are extremely low, yet a Russian woman appears to have achieved just that . Described as the 'world's most convincing Barbie', Valeria Luckyanova has a face and figure remarkably similar to Mattel's immortal plastic doll - spookily clear, wide blue eyes, minimalist waist, voluptuous breasts and a tumbling cascade of ultra-blonde hair.

It's possible of course, that the photographs have been photoshopped and there is some other trickery involved in her physical proportions, yet Lukyanova claims not. Even bereft of make-up, the Russian beauty does bear a likeness to Barbie but the similarity is greatly enhanced by make-up, dress-ups and deliberate Barbie-like poses. The distinct Barbie look is a constructed element but the basics are there.

Living doll Valeria Lukyanova. Photo Facebook
Living doll Valeria Lukyanova. Photo Facebook
The Real Barbie
The Real Barbie
Barbie or Valeria? Photo Facebook
Barbie or Valeria? Photo Facebook
The doll-like Venus Angelic
The doll-like Venus Angelic

The Anime Girl

I'm a girl/ I like Girly things~Venus Angelic

Superficially, Venus Angelic's doll look is all about white-eyed cuteness and innocence but with an undercurrent of knowing manipulation that's a little creepy. Venus not only looks like a doll, she moves and speaks like one as well. However, it's also a kind of fun, facetious look that has earned the fifteen year old a cult following and her own fan club.

Venus's porcelain pure,child-like doll image has been controversial enough to have spawned a barrage of criticism. Some critics fear an obsessive concern with appearances at such a young age could project a damaging role model, particularly since Venus is offering video tutorials teaching young grils how to 'look like a doll'. Fun dress-ups or insidiously shallow role model?

Why be a Doll?

A dolls appearance, while perfectly pretty, is static and unnatural and lacking the animation and expression of a living, breathing and imperfect human female, basically reflects a bland kind of beauty. So why do some women want to look like dolls?

Well it might have something to do with perfectionism and a desire to attain an ideal. Many of the beauty ads in magazines, billboards and other media outlets, do reflect this bland kind of beauty. It's standard practise in the industry to manipulate the images through sophisticated software, resulting in the the models human imperfections being airbrushed out of existence.

In effect, many of the images we are confronted with everyday are 'living dolls'. Of course, they are largely illusions but this is not consciously processed by most people. in our culture, we have developed a tendency to value the blandly beautiful over the interesting and subtly attractive and the personality behind the woman, that drives the animation of her features and expression is left neglected.

Most women do not actually want to turn to themselves visually into actual living dolls in the extreme way Valeria and Venus appear to want to. Perhaps their obsession may be rooted in some sort of neurosis, a desire for notoriety or simply an unusual taste preference. In any case, their's is a very specific kind of image, modelled on a particular ideal. The cynic inside me says it's because there's money to be made from looking, as realistically as possible, like an identifiable doll - YouTube is now increasing filling up with tutorials by young girls like Venus, offering advice on the finer points of how to look like a doll. What next I wonder? A girl that looks like Hello Kitty?

Hello Kitty Girl
Hello Kitty Girl

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