Inside the weird world of the 'Human Barbie'
Published 11/04/2014 | 14:47
Meeting a human Barbie certainly sounds like a weird, and perhaps oddly fascinating, prospect, but in reality it is absolutely terrifying.
GQ Russia's editor-in-chief, Michael Idov, did just that when he travelled to Ukraine to meet Valeria Lukyanova, the 28-year-old Moldova-born model who has transformed herself into a doll-like creature and won herself a cult-like internet following in the process.
So what does it take to make yourself into a human Barbie?
Well, Lukyanova will only admit to a breast enlargement in the cosmetic augmentation department. The rest, she claims, is down to diet and exercise, something entirely unbelievable - or perhaps oddly impressive if true - when you see her appearance; shaved-down slither of a nose, "plasticky skin and wasp waist", immobile facial features and "neotenous" eyes of Disney Princess proportions.
By diet, she means liquid-only. "We order food, in a manner of speaking," writes Odiv of their meeting in an Indian restaurant. "…there are the usual three chutneys on the table - mint, tamarind, and chile. Valeria gets a carrot juice, then proceeds to upend all three chutneys into it, swirl the result with her straw, and drink. This gag-inducing mix, she explains, is her dinner; she is on an all-liquid diet these days."
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Lukyanova is also sure to carry around her very own comparison tool: a normal human, in this case her friend and 'acolyte' Olga.
"Compared with Valeria, Olga is just a human in a lot of makeup, no more or less augmented than any Miami Beach body, wearing some sort of purple Power Ranger outfit (self-designed, she later explains)," writes Odiv. "I instantly understand why Valeria insists on having her around. She seems to be there for scale, to subtly underscore Valeria's ethereality."
You'll also need a completely warped and racist view on what beauty actually means. Asked why the "ideal of beauty" has changed and why so many more women now have cosmetic surgery, Lukyanova blames "race-mixing".
"For example, a Russian marries an Armenian. They have a kid, a cute girl, but she has her dad's nose. She goes and files it down a little, and it's all good. Ethnicities are mixing now, so there's degeneration, and it didn't used to be like that. Remember how many beautiful women there were in the 1950s and 1960s, without any surgery? And now, thanks to degeneration, we have this.