The Ukraine's 'Barbie Flu'
The Ukraine’s 'Barbie Flu'
by Sam Pick
Fashion and beauty trends are constantly changing and we will often come across some pretty wacky and crazy things, but the latest trend out of the Ukraine is simply disturbing. Having been bitten by the bug dubbed the “Barbie Flu,” 21 year-old Valeria Lukyanova (photos from her Facebook page are at the right and below) began the trend earlier this year when she transformed herself— literally— into a living Barbie doll.Through various surgical procedures, she’s attained staggeringly exaggerated proportions: a 38DD bust, 18-inch waist, and 34-inch hips. Look, I get it when it comes to makeup. But when a young woman undergoes drastic measures to turn herself into a child’s toy come to life, I think things are a little out of control. I don’t understand what kind of adult would really want to look like that or what kind of person would find the look attractive—and frankly, I don’t want to know.
Yes, this is a personal opinion, and maybe it’s harsh, but when someone as young as 21 undergoes numerous plastic surgeries to achieve the look of a Barbie doll, I find it too extreme. Dr. Anthony LaBruna, Director of Manhattan Plastic Surgery, estimates that the breast implants, rib removal (you know, to get that tiny waist), hip-widening and face-changing that must have taken place to get this eerie look would cost upwards of $100,000. That’s a lot of money.
Of greater concern than money is the popularity the “Barbie Flu” has amassed in such a short period of time … not to mention whatever residual effects will come along with it. In a little over 6 months, Lukyanova has become an Internet sensation, gaining over 490,000 “likes” on her Facebook page, plus nearly 10,000 subscribers on YouTube with over 14 million views. Is her image in sync with what guys are attracted to? Is it something women can relate to? There’s no way I can believe a human being should be—or genuinely wants to be, for that matter—represented as a lifeless, emotionless, expressionless object. This “Barbie Flu” isn’t like getting fillers, or even getting a bagel forehead—after all, those are temporary. This is real surgery with real risks and implications that will last a lifetime.
There are now at least another two Ukrainian women who are circling the media calling themselves living dolls. They, too, convey the disturbing lifeless and expressionless image of a children’s doll. One, Olga Oleynik, has had breast augmentation to complement her raccoon-like eyes and heavy makeup, while the other, Anastasia Shpagina, claims to have had no surgery— yet. Rather, she sticks to a diet consisting only of fruits and vegetables. I’m all for healthy living and being comfortable in your own skin, but this trend seems more like a struggle for perfection and an attempt to escape reality.
Article posted 10/26/2012.