Is she human or a Barbie doll?


Believe it or not, that photo is supposed to be of a real person, not of a doll or Photoshopped in anyway.

Her improbable looks—the Margaret Keane peepers, the head quizzically cocked like a sunflower too heavy for its stem, the plasticky skin and wasp waist—reached the West when her self-shot home videos began drawing gawkers to YouTube. The Western media were quick to dub her the “Human Barbie,” but Valeria was hardly the first Homo sapiens to willingly make herself look like a doll—she wasn’t even the first to earn the moniker: Some tabloid-damaged Brit laid claim to it a few years back. Still, where others had dabbled, she went for broke. However odd her own view of perfection, she appeared to have achieved it.

Her mouth, like in a cheap cartoon, is the only part of her that moves. The eyes, the staring eyes, are the scariest. Part of what I’m seeing is an optical effect brought about by makeup (there is essentially an eye drawn around each eye), but even after I make the mental correction for it, Valeria’s eyes remain chillingly large.

Her features are the features we men playfully ascribe to ideal women; it’s how we draw them in manga and comics and video games.

It’s amazing what people can and will do with their bodies. The interview with her reveals a person whose ideas are as bizarre as her looks.


  1. Scr... Archivist says

    She reminds me of someone like Gildina 547‑921‑45‑822‑KBJ, in Marge Piercy’s “Woman on the Edge of Time”. Not exactly the same fashion standards, but the basic idea is the same.

    I guess we missed Mattapoisett.

  2. busterggi says

    Well a real Barbie has no genetalia so lets see if she’s had them plasticised away.

  3. Frank says

    Wow. My reaction (thinking this was a photo of either a human or a robot/mannequin) was, “Pretty well done. It’s easily believable except for the face.” I was wrong.

  4. lochaber says


    I think some of that is the perspective. From the angle of the picture, I think we are getting more of a side-on view of her waist, as opposed to a front-on.

    *shrugs* could be wrong, and even so, still pretty skinny.

    I find it a little odd, and her look doesn’t really appeal to me at all, but, well, if it works for her…

  5. says

    How is this different from any other posting in which someone is mocked for non-normative appearance? Since her appearance and surgeries are a matter of her choice, we could just as easily be being encouraged to mock someone for having too many tattoos or too much muscular definition, or being too fat, etc. Body autonomy, eh? By all means let’s also mock Hollywood celebs’ plastic surgery while we’re at it; is this somehow worse than Joan Rivers’ or Michael Jackson’s faces?

    I, of course, have opinions about her appearance – I have opinions about everyone’s appearance – Rivers and Jackson included – but they’re just my opinions and they’re irrelevant because, obviously, she is comfortable enough with herself to appear in public that way knowing there is a potential for a range of reactions.

    The original article this image may have come from at least tried to engage in social commentary: apparently there is also a human Ken doll, who commented that she was “artificial”. Ummmm probably not front page news either.

  6. rory says

    I don’t care much for the title of this post. This woman’s choices may be incomprehensible and disturbing to me, but the title seems to imply that her humanity is in question. I doubt that’s what you meant, Mano, but that’s how it read to me.

  7. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Bizarre is certainly the word.

    A Ukrainian woman who has deliberately turned herself into a “racist space alien” (to use the articles’ phrase) who rejects kids, has deliberately set out to repel men and adopts a name from a dream plus a whole bunch of New Age ideas. What can you say? One of the oddest people I’ve read about on FTB which is saying quite a lot.

  8. Mano Singham says


    No, that is not what I meant but when I saw the photo my first reaction was this it was a photo of a posed doll. It was only later that I realized that it was a real person and my title reflected my initial confusion and I was curious to see if others felt that same confusion.

  9. Trebuchet says

    No wonder the Russians are invading Ukraine!

    On a more serious note, if you haven’t read the linked article by all means go and do so. It’s even creepier than you think. From the article:

    Valeria grows pensive, which in her case means rolling her eyes slightly upward without changing anything else about her face. “I wouldn’t say so. Everyone wants a slim figure. Everyone gets breasts done. Everyone fixes up their face if it’s not ideal, you know? Everyone strives for the golden mean. It’s global now.”

    “But that’s a relatively new thing,” I reply. “The ideal of beauty used to be different.”

    “That’s because of the race-mixing.”

    And she’s talking about mixing with….Armenians.

  10. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @^ Trebuchet : Yes. Your comment inspired me to check up on the Armenians wiki-page :

    Who are really by definition Caucasian too – not that it really should matter – and look that way FWIW. They do have a history of being persecuted though most notable the Armenian genocide carried out against them by the Turks. You have to wonder what and how much Valeria really knows about them or other peoples.

    @12. Mano Singham : “I was curious to see if others felt that same confusion.”

    Yes. From that photo, it is (was for me anyhow) hard to know whether we’re looking at a person or some kind of inflatable or other doll or the results of photoshopping or quite what.

  11. thinkfree83 says

    To me it seems that people generally have plastic surgery to look more “Nordic,” not to look more racially ambiguous.

  12. Pierce R. Butler says

    Trebuchet @ # 13: … she’s talking about mixing with….Armenians.

    The Kardashians have taken over the Ukraine, too?

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