“Human Barbies” and the ugly side of narcissism

Valeria Lukyanova (left) and Blondie Bennett (right) want to look like Barbie. Photos: Facebook.
Valeria Lukyanova (left) and Blondie Bennett (right) want to look like Barbie. Photos: Facebook.

Valeria Lukyanova and Blondie Bennett have made recent headlines with their controversial attempts to physically resemble Barbie, the famous doll from Mattel.

Ukrainian model Valeria Lukyanova, 23, has admitted using plastic surgery to cultivate her doll-like appearance. She has recently said that she is converting to Breatharianism  – a cult that believes food and water are not necessary for human survival.

According to what the cult preaches, people should live off “cosmic food”.

You could argue that even Jesus Christ was hungry after 40 days in the desert, but Breatharians have no sympathy for those who need traditional food.

They claim to be providing a solution to world hunger, and refuse to accept they may have caused people to starve to death by encouraging an eating disorder.

One of Breatharism’s most notorious practitioners is an Australian woman that calls herself Jasmuheen.

When questioned about the fact that 3 people have reportedly died after trying to follow her unorthodox diet, she said that “15 million children die each year from hunger related diseases. In this context, to lose 3 people over the last 17 years is actually amazing”.

If you’re thinking it’s insane to believe that it’s possible to survive off light and air, hold on.

Valeria Lukyanova’s unusual lifestyle goes much further into lunacy.  She claims to be a “lecturer on the subject of out-of-body travel”.

Valeria Lukyanova claims to be "a lecturer on out-of-body travel". Photo: Valeria Lukyanova's Facebook
Valeria Lukyanova claims to be “a lecturer on out-of-body travel”. Photo: Valeria Lukyanova’s Facebook

More importantly, she believes to come from outer space.

For a long time I thought I was from Venus, but I had incarnations in other planets as well

Lukyanova was recently the theme of “Space Barbie”, a Vice documentary (below).

Despite talking about spirituality and mystical ideas, her obsession with physical appearance is evident.

Unfortunately, spiritual ideas will never get so much attention. If a nun starts talking about spirituality, will anyone notice her? No, no one will. But if a beautiful, inspiring young woman starts talking about it, many people will start thinking. So I use my appearance to promote my spiritual ideas. It works perfectly well

Does she look like Barbie to you? Photo: Valeria Lukyanova's Facebook
Does she look like Barbie to you? Photo: Valeria Lukyanova’s Facebook

In her Youtube videos, as she shows off her 50-centimetre waistline, massive breasts, platinum blonde hair and a creepy vacant stare, she talks about past incarnations, seeing spirits from other dimensions, her ability to travel across time, and how to put on the perfect makeup to make you look like Barbie.

Meanwhile, in sunny California, Blondie Bennett, 38, doesn’t seem to be interested about spirits or aliens.

Ms Bennett changed her name to "Blondie" 18 months ago. Photo: Blondie Bennett's Twitter
Ms Bennett changed her name to “Blondie” 18 months ago. Photo: Blondie Bennett’s Twitter

In her bid to become the real-life Barbie, Blondie is undergoing online hypnotherapy sessions aimed at decreasing her IQ to the lowest levels possible. Her goal is to become “brainless”, like a doll.

I don’t like human beings,” she says. “I’d like to be completely plastic


Apparently, the hypnotherapy sessions have been successful.

I’ve had 20 sessions and I’m already starting to feel ditzy and confused all the time. Recently, I went to pick a friend up at the airport and couldn’t remember if I needed to go to departures or arrivals. I also got lost for three hours driving to my mum’s house – the house where I grew up

Bennett, a former model, is currently unemployed. Her expensive plastic surgeries are entirely financed by online sugar daddies. In exchange, she sends them pictures and videos of her transformation.

You may think that Lukyanova and Bennett’s stories are plain stupid, and the two Barbie-obsessed women are harmless to everyone except themselves. In that case, you probably forgot to check how popular they are in the online social media world.

Boasting thousands of followers on Twitter, various fan pages on Facebook and millions of views on Youtube, Lukyanova and Bennett promote their unhealthy diets and skinny looks.

A quick check on one of Lukyanova’s Youtube videos (below) shows that the majority of people commenting are young girls. Monique Martinez says: “She’s so beautiful”. Rose Isabelle says: “You look so beautiful and so friendly”.

Valeria Lukyanova – fantasy make up メイクアップ 化妝

Gabi Santos says: “Perfect, I love you”.

Most of the comments on her videos, however, are against her obsession with appearance.

Sofia Dutallaz, defending Lukyanova, comments: “your makeup is so perfect, don’t forget that you are who you want to be, don’t hear the stupid people judging you”.

Worryingly, Lukyanova’s main audience – teenage girls – constitutes a group particularly susceptible to eating disorders.

According to a 2007 study of Irish children and adolescents, 1.2% of Irish girls may be at risk of developing anorexia nervosa, with 2% at risk of developing bulimia nervosa.

Recent data from the Health Research Body shows that in the case of child and adolescent psychiatric admissions in Ireland, eating disorders represented the second highest level of diagnosis at 18%.

Internationally, the aggregate annual mortality associated with anorexia are more than 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes for females 15-24 years old, and more than 200 times higher than the suicide rate of females in the general population.

The Eating Disorder Association of Ireland have a helpline: 1890 200 444.


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