Plastic surgery and body modification is very common these days with people striving to attain the perfect look, whether it be to mimic their favorite celebrity or mask their own insecurities. But have you heard about living dolls?
Subculture Safari takes looks into into the strange world of living dolls—people who spend elaborate amounts of time and money, sometimes even undergoing risky surgical procedures, to live their lives like plastic dolls.
The ultimate goal of becoming a living doll can be reached in two different ways: The first through plastic surgery, which seems to be the less popular route; and the secondly, by using masks and makeup, which is more understanding. While there are many people that use makeup and masks, the use of plastic is increasing although not many people choose to do it because long lasting effects. The use of plastic surgery has increased the subcultures popularity dramatically.
One of the more extreme cases is Blondie Bennet (NSFW), a woman who undergoes hypnotherapy in order to achieve a vacant personality—just like that of a Barbie doll.
The most famous, and successful is Valeria Lukyanova, otherwise known as the ‘Human Barbie’. While she states she has only had plastic surgery once (breast implants) many think otherwise. Valeria is looked upon as an example by many women within this subculture. An example not only because of how perfectly she resembles a barbie doll, but because of the way she has affected the subcultures popularity. People have become aware of this subculture largely because of both her interviews and photo shoots.
Valeria recently took the internet by storm because of several photo shoots she agreed to take part in. Photo shoots as well as YouTube videos have allowed her to voice her opinion and her goals regarding this lifestyle she has chosen to partake in. Without YouTube she would not be this cultures icon, simply because this is a very specific obsession that people around the world share, but these people are not together. YouTube has allowed Valeria to upload her videos and pictures which has led to her rise in popularity; she has one million ‘likes’ on Facebook. The amount of likes on Facebook that she has received serves as proof that she is indeed an icon, and very popular.
The living doll phenomena is just confined to young girls. Men are also part of the subculture. Justin Jedica of New York City, wanted to be a living Ken doll (Barbie’s classic plastic boyfriend). Justin says he’s had over 100 plastic surgeries and spent over $100,000 to acquire his muscular body and chiseled face, including 5 nose jobs, a brow lift, pectoral implants, chin work, and buttock work, among other surgeries. He’s also been injected with silicone. But when confronted regarding his human Ken doll look, Justin says his transformation was more inspired by the anime characters made famous in Japanese productions.
A more mysterious is a subset of men who mask themselves in latex suits, shimmy into women’s clothing, and proudly waltz into the world as living dolls. Some spend hundreds on looking like a doll, and keeping it one big secret. For some, even their families don’t know. And there’s surprisingly a lot of them.