living doll, lifestyle? obsession for beauty? disease? What is the real rating?
One day I was walking the streets of London and I came across a girl dressed like a doll. I have nothing against people who try to innovate in the visual sense, seeking to have their own style, it can be commendable. But at first it scared me, and I wasn’t alone, the girl grabbed the attention of everyone, people were staring.
As I approached the “living doll”, she was accompanied by her mother who called her Venus.
I started researching more into people who had this kind of different lifestyle. I found out she was “Venus Parlemo” better known as “Venus Angelic.” She’s famous on YouTube for looking like characters from Japanese manga comics.
In Japan it is normal and very common that the young imitate and dress up as their favourite characters from manga films and comics. Recently, I watched a documentary that told the stories of the people who dress and act like dolls, it even spoke of Venus as well.
Viewing it as a hobby, and sometimes dressing like that for fun may even be healthy, but to live according to that cannot be considered normal, it is out of the society’s standards. These people often go a long way to achieve this look through plastic surgery. Herein lies the issue. The moment a human looks for perfection through body modification it triggers mental disorders and warps their perception of themselves and how they are viewed. Among the most common disorders are anorexia and bulimia.
In addition to the documentary, I watched a program that interviewed Celso Santebañes, the model inspired exclusively by the”Ken” doll. Santebañes revealed he slept with an iron mask for a week in an attempt to mould his face into that of the “Ken” doll, the plastic toy boyfriend of the plastic toy Barbie.
The model said he suffered sexual abuse in childhood, saying that after this Celso “died” and he wanted to create a new being of him self by altering his image. Sadly, on June 4th 2015, Santebañes died at age 21 of leukemia. Many people believe that their health was affected by surgical procedures such as hydrogel applications.
As Celso many “living dolls” appeal for surgical and aesthetic procedures, spending fortunes in trying to achieve their goal. This curious behaviour is very connected with self esteem and social acceptance. This is clear in the documentary, which also told the story of Emily, a girl who was not famous, however she dressed every day like a doll, even to seek employment. In a family meeting the girl cried when questioned about her true natural beauty behind that whole fantasy, confessing that she just felt good and beautiful within a costume.
Venus Angelic gained fame for her YouTube channel because she has a very similar face to those of Japanese anime. She travels the world and participates in many events, followed by a legion of fans known as “fangelics”. All cases are different, many people may have that attitude for fun, because the admire anime, Barbie, etc… Specific cases that lead to obsession are rather psychiatric disorders, should be more careful.
In search of perfection? Obsession with beauty? Lifestyle or disease? This behaviour will always generate controversy and many doubts.