Dressing up to be an exact human replica of Barbie should have set the alarm bells off, but after a spate of increasingly bizarre announcements from becoming a breatharian to saying she's a time-travelling guru, Ukrainian model Valeria Lukyanova receives a scathing review from GQ.
Michael Idov, who went to her home town in the Ukraine to spend some time with the model, expected to find a girl who grows up "obsessed with dolls" but instead found a "racist space alien."
Describing Valeria, he writes: "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."
On her own sense of beauty, Lukyanova says: "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 it was her views on mixing races describing it as 'degeneration' that really antagonised Idov. She said: "“For example, a Russian marries an Armenian, they have a kid, a cute girl, but she has her dad’s nose. She goes and files it down a little, and it’s all good.
"Ethnicities are mixing now, so there’s degeneration, and it didn’t used to be like that. Remember how many beautiful women there were in the 1950s and 1960s, without any surgery? And now, thanks to degeneration, we have this. I love the Nordic image myself. I have white skin; I am a Nordic type—perhaps a little Eastern Baltic, but closer to Nordic.”
In a bid to understand Lukyanova and her extreme views (she also describes the idea of having children as bringing out "a deep revulsion"), Idov writes: "It could be that the world and I have misjudged the Human Barbie in a fundamental way. Her steady drift from reality and into the twenty-first dimension is not about submissiveness, fame, or snagging a husband.
"It could be about finding a way out, however random, bizarre, and costly the route appears from the outside. It could be about gaining some measure of freedom."
The full interview appears in the April issue of GQ.
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