updated 4 Jul 2014, 03:19
Login password or
Wed, Feb 19, 2014
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
She looks like a doll
by Charlene Chua

Love her or hate her, the reality is that some women just want to be her.

For decades, detractors have slammed Barbie doll's "ridiculous proportions" as the cause of women's body image issues.

Mattel's iconic plastic figure sports big breasts and a tiny waist that critics say if visualised on a real-life woman would render her having only half a liver and walking on all fours.

Just last week, Mattel, which created the doll in 1959, sparked controversy yet again when it teamed up with Sports Illustrated to have Barbie featured in the magazine's 50th anniversary swimsuit edition.

But there's a YouTube sensation who feels Barbie is "perfect" - and has even ridden on its coattails to gain awareness for her beliefs. Meet Ukranian model Valeria Lukyanova, also known as Human Barbie.

Reportedly 28 years old, Lukyanova became one of the most famous women on Russian Internet when she uploaded videos and pictures of herself looking like Barbie two years ago.

With silky blonde hair, 38DD breasts, a 19-inch waist and her striking resemblance to the plastic doll, her close to a million fans online just can't get enough of her.

On the flip side, some of her detractors have called her "mentally insane".

Foreign and local psychologists have even deemed her ideals dangerous and delusional.

Last year, she was the subject of a documentary film, Space Barbie, that explored her life and beliefs.

It was so titled because in various interviews with the US media, Lukyanova said that she believes she is from another planet.

And she works as a spiritual teacher with the School Of Out-Of-Body Travel in its branch in Odessa, Ukraine, because she is passionate about teaching others to harness their powers of astral projection.

She has also claimed that she has had only breasts implants and that her appearance is a result of "sports massages, healthy living and professional make-up".

She said that she eats only tiny amounts of herbs and vegetables at one time and this liquid vegetarian diet is what keeps her in shape. Her eventual plan is to "subsist on air and light alone".

She is adamant that she has never had plastic surgery on her face and that her features are the result of inheriting her mother's "good genes".

She also denied having one of her ribs removed to create her miniscule waist, which she claims she also got from her mum as well as from working out three times a week at the gym.

What is even more bizarre is that she also claimed that she is asexual and has more of a sister-brother relationship with her businessman husband Dmitry Shkrabov. Lukyanova told the US media in Russian: "I've known my husband for 10 years, our fathers were friends.

"In general, we support an open relationship. I do not have animal urges. Some people enjoy eating the most, some, having sex. I will say one thing. The less you make of this so-called love the better."

So why the desire to look like Barbie, whose proportions are, some might say, sexiness personified?

She said: "To me, the Barbie doll looks perfect. It was created as a human idol. When I adopted her image, it felt very positive. At first, I constantly heard compliments from everybody around me.


"But then I got a lot of insulting comments questioning my intellect.

"That was painful and bad for my reputation, since I'm a spiritual teacher for many people."

She confessed that she had embraced her Barbie persona to call attention to her unorthodox beliefs.

"My unusual appearance helps me attract clients to my spiritual practice. I don't think I would be so popular if I looked ordinary.

"Every week I get e-mails from hundreds of fans interested in my spiritual seminars.

"I believe the way I look inspires other people to improve their appearance, eat healthy and live a more active, creative life.

"It is very important to eat less, observe nature, live in harmony with your inner world. There is always room for perfection, it just depends on your personal desire."

Lukyanova, who also claims that she can communicate with aliens, added: "My out-of-body experiences began when I was a little girl: I could travel outside of my body to other planets and universes.

"Back then it happened spontaneously and now I can control my trips and travel only when I feel like it.

"For the last four years, I have been teaching seminars on meditation and out-of-body travel.

"If a nun talks about spirituality, will anyone notice?"

Get The New Paper for more stories.

more: doll, barbie
readers' comments

Copyright © 2014 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.