kottke.org posts about Valeria Lukyanova

Human Barbie dollsApr 09 2014

Let's get right to it. This is a real photo of a real human being:

Human Barbie doll

It hasn't been dramatically retouched or anything. Valeria Lukyanova has made herself into a human Barbie doll.

Her brand-new hair extensions, the color of Chardonnay, hang straight down, reaching her nonexistent hips. Her mouth is frozen in a vacant half-smile; the teeth are small and almost translucent. She's holding a handbag shaped like a lantern. A one-eyed smiling-skull pin perches on her sky blue top, pushed to the side by the veritable shelf of silicone around which her whole body seems arranged. In the flesh -- the little of it that she hasn't whittled away with what she says is exercise and diet -- Valeria looks almost exactly like Barbie. There might be some Loretta Lux-style postproduction to her photos, sure, but it's not crucial. This is live. This is happening.

She's also a recent convert to breatharianism (living exclusively on a diet of air), feels that humans are less beautiful now because of "race-mixing", and gets her nails painted with "a fractal pattern from the twenty-first dimension" that came to her in a dream. There is also a human Ken doll, Justin Jedlica, who has achieved his look through more than 100 plastic surgeries:

Human Ken doll

But there's a problem. Ken doen't like Barbie.

But you're not a fan?

I don't really get her. I don't get why people think she's so interesting. She has extensions. She wears stage makeup. She's an illusionist.

You've certainly had more surgeries. What's your favorite one?

My baby is my shoulders, because nobody has anything like them. I divided these so there's six pieces-front, middle, and back. Just like the actual anatomy.

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