I must say that after I watched the short documentary “Space Barbie,” I felt very conflicted. I'd heard of Valeria Lukyanova before - a Russian woman living in Odessa, Valeria has used plastic surgery and extreme body modification to become what she calls a “refined girl," and what the rest of the world calls a Barbie doll.
Disturbing, no? I don’t think her impossibly unnatural appearance sends a good message to women, especially to young girls. At the same time, I believe that people should do what makes them happy, as long as they’re not harming anyone. But I wonder if she is.
Valeria paints herself as both a human Barbie doll and a psychic called Amatue, hailing from another planet. According to Valeria, she has unique gifts of time travel that let her leave her physical body and communicate with other beings.
These statements might not be cause for major concern on their own. But what causes me to think Valeria may the bearer of some kind of psychological harm is her relationship with her sister, Olga. Olga makes a quick appearance in the video and mentions how she used to subconsciously imitate Valeria, and that she felt like she needed to look like her. Now she doesn’t feel that way and looks like a natural, beautiful and healthy woman. In the meantime Valeria shouts at her that she smiles too much and when she smiles she reveals a double chin. This type of intense criticism is not beneficial to anyone, especially when it comes form your sister. To me, that behavior is disrespectful, negative and unacceptable no matter what planet you’re from.
Valeria on the left and Olga on the right.
I find Valeria's behavior to be quite hypocritical, seeing as she preaches against negativity and claims to strive to save the world from superficiality - to move humanity from the role of “human consumer to the role of human demi-god.” She's using her appearance as a platform to get her message across, but I don’t think her physical appearance is a healthy image that we would want young girls to look up to. Especially her biggest concern is that people know she has a tiny waist, as she pointed out during a photo shoot.
In her quest to be everything “beautiful, feminine and refined,” Valeria has a liquid diet that she hopes one day to limit to just water, the energy from the sun and prana (the Hindi word meaning life force or energy).
Valeria also makes me worry when she says things like, “how should a real girl behave around a man?” and “perfection has no limit.” No, people have limits. Her view promotes the idea that women should fit into a specific role to make men happy and that we should keep pushing ourselves to be “perfect.”
At the same time, Valeria says some things that we can learn from, like how she doesn’t hate those who hate her and that she fills her life with love. Forgiveness is something that everyone can learn from. But in general, I don’t buy her schtick.
It’s funny to me that someone who claims to be so intensely spiritual spends the vast majority of her time doing her makeup in her mirror or taking videos and photographs of herself for the Internet. Is there any spiritual growth here, or just straight-up narcissism?
Having known many spiritual people in my life, I’m skeptical of Valeria. As Amatue, she seems more concerned about making rituals look ritual-y for her camera than anything else. She says she does it to “communicate with the DNA cells.” Huh? But hey, I guess you never know.
As if this women didn't have enough strange claims, Valeria’s says that she died (!) and went to Mexico where the “Mayan Indian tribes” embraced her. All this is running while showing footage of Machu Picchu, which is Inca territory in Peru. I believe she was in Mexico at some point, seeing as she later spoke of Uxmal, a city in the Yucatan which is Maya territory, but really, get your facts straight. Careless mistakes like misnaming entire countries just causes me to doubt her message even more.
What do you BUSTies think about Valeria? If you want to hear her speak for herself, check out the "Space Barbie" trailer here: