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Human Barbie has perfection all wrong

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Women will do anything to look beautiful. We pull countless individual hairs off our faces, pour hot wax on our legs just to promptly rip it off and pay hundreds of dollars for makeup advertising the perfect look that says, “I’m attractive, but I’m pretending I don’t know that so you can tell me yourself.”

But do we actually believe we are? Absolutely not.

If women legitimately thought they were attractive, they would not invest a majority of their time and money in changing their natural looks. Once the makeup is heavily applied and accessories hang from every limb, they often turn out to be the exact opposite of what they look like when they get out of bed.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look presentable, but when it takes over your life to the point of altering your whole personality for superficial beauty, it’s a problem.

Valeria Lukyanova may literally look like a doll, but her beauty standards are far from perfect. Photo via nydailynews.com

Valeria Lukyanova may look like a doll, but her beauty standards are far from perfect. Photo via nydailynews.com

Valeria Lukyanova is the epitome of that problem. For the last few years, the Ukrainian made multiple headlines as the Human Barbie, complete with an unnaturally slim figure, blonde hair and plastic-looking face. In a GQ feature story, she showed Editor-in-Chief Michael Idov around her hometown, amidst gawking stares from passers-by. It didn’t take Idov long to discover her life views, like how race-mixing causes a degeneration in beauty. Or that having children is “the pinnacle of selfishness,” and their only purpose is “to get you a glass of water when you’re on your deathbed.”

I don’t want to make assumptions, but I’m going to assume most of you have a problem with that. I’m a fairly calm person, but I have to resist punching someone in the face when it comes to that response. But her worst quote is one she gave to V Magazine about those who say she uses an ungodly amount of Photoshop:

“Many people say bad things about people who want to perfect themselves,” she said. “It’s hard work … This is how they justify not wanting to strive for self-improvement. It’s how they explain their continued inaction. It’s just an excuse.”

An excuse for what, exactly? For not wanting to literally look like a porcelain doll? For resisting the unrealistic standard of beauty the media forces down young girls’ throats?

A website dedicated to this creature, humanbarbie.org, says its mission is to help women grow “in self confidence, knowledge and better health.” It encourages women to make an impact and take active leadership roles in their communities and throughout the world. “To see themselves as they could be.” This text is ironically placed next to a picture of Lukyanova in an incredibly revealing bikini top.

Motivational speakers and blogs cover this topic daily, but I’ll say it again: big boobs don’t buy success. Physical beauty alone cannot guarantee affluence in any professional field. The messages this woman and her fan club’s website are sending are not applicable to anyone living in the real world.

So why am I reiterating this if it has been said already? Because I still don’t totally believe it myself.

I can read inspirational articles and watch empowering videos about how beauty isn’t skin deep, but the minute I walk by a mirror, the nagging voice enters my subconscience without fail.

Your hair is too flat. Your face is too chubby. Don’t even get me started on that belly fat.

I try to come up with solutions that could fix what I think is wrong with myself. I could run every day. Salad sounds good for lunch – for the next month. I’ll drink as many liquids as possible. For a moment, Human Barbie’s version of perfection is actually appealing.

Then, I look at my friends. None of them remotely resemble Lukyanova, and I don’t want them to. I love them for their humor, their compassion, our inside jokes, the crazy and occasionally stupid things we do just because we like each other’s company.

Beauty is making a sad friend smile, standing up for a just cause and lending a helping hand when you are told to shrink back in disgust. Beauty is showing the world love when it deserves none. It’s everything Human Barbie says it is not.

I may not have told you anything new, but maybe I’ve been the final straw that changes your perspective about the media’s beauty standards. If you still grapple with the truth – you are more than the lipstick on your face and the glitter in your hair – know that at least one other person in the world is struggling like you are. And she just wrote 765 words about it.

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