The New Human Barbie

So I just heard there is a new human Barbie. Her name is Angelica Kenova and she’s a 26-year-old Russian model.

She tells News.Au.Com – “When I turned six, my mum started buying me collectible Barbie dolls and enthusiastically dressing me up like one.” She goes on to say  “My mother loved Barbie’s slender beauty, golden curls, cute face and beautiful clothes. My mother inspired me and urged me to be exactly the same. I would pose in the mirror for hours and put on performances for my parents’ friends. Everyone nicknamed me the ‘Russian Barbie.'”

She goes on to talk about how she and her parents are proud of her modeling work and she believes that she is “perfect.” However, when I look at her small frame (which she claims has had no plastic surgery) I see pain and insecurities. I don’t want young girls to see picture of her and think they need to look like this to be “perfect.” Perfection doesn’t exist! 

If she wanted to be herself I would applaud her. But she is telling us she wants to be a doll – a barbie. Also, how she looks isn’t natural. If it was, I would celebrate her.  I believe in natural beauty in all forms – thin, curvy, short, tall, black, white, Russian, American. I truly hope she is happy but something in me tells me she couldn’t possibly be. What do you guys think? Do you guys agree with her? Does she have the “perfect” body? Sound off below.

 

UPDATE: Adding an update to this post based on some of the comments I got below. In particular, a lovely woman named Alanna who wanted me to look at the bigger picture when viewing these images. Here is what I told her below:

I want to you know that I am not judging her because she is a woman. I would feel the same way about her if she were a man. There is a man who claims he has the “perfect” male body and refers to himself as the Human Ken doll and I also believe that the message he sends young men is a toxic one. I really don’t consider myself a judgmental person, but I feel strongly against people (both men and women) being so obsessed about looks. Vanity is a disease this country faces in my mind. SO many people talking countless selfies and using hundreds of filters to “perfect” their look.

I want people to celebrate intelligence and kindness! Wouldn’t it be incredible if she were celebrating her “perfect” mind or “perfect” heart!?!? And don’t get me wrong I also think we should celebrate our bodies, but her body is not natural. Nothing about her look is. I hope my niece Lennon never sees these pictures and never thinks this is what she should strive to be. By calling her body perfect, is she saying that yours isn’t? That mine isn’t? Or that everyone else in the world who isn’t a size double zero isn’t? It would be a completely different story if she said “my body is perfect for ME” That I would understand.

Hope you see where I am coming from now and know that I am still that girl you watched on the Bachelorette. If anything, I believe is empowering women ever MORE now. But these aren’t empowering images. To me they are posters for VANITY.

15 Thoughts

15 thoughts on “The New Human Barbie

  1. Perfect? Absolutely not. There is so much beauty that gets lost with over thought and competitive nature to have the best lips, hips and boobs. Beauty is natural. Security and confidence for your own body speaks so much more than fitting into a bikini. Each difference or curve brings on its own unique beauty for each individual woman.

  2. I have two sons, ages 20 and 26. Neither of them found her attractive. They both agreed she was too skinny and fake looking.
    It’s a shame her mother pushed her towards this instead of praising the beauty within.

  3. She literally looks plastic and I don’t find that attractive. I agree with you, I see a woman in a lot of pain. The one thing I’ll give her is that her skin is pretty amazing. I wish her peace and happiness.

  4. If she thinks she has a perfect body, who are we to judge that? Everyone’s perception of perfect is different. How do you know she full of pain and insecurities?

  5. All I know is women need to stop scrutinizing everyone else (including themself). I think we need to encourage one another, not tear them down. We are all beautiful in our own way and to be able to say "I think I’m beautiful" or "perfect" is quite an accomplishment with today’s extreme pressures from the media’s definition of beauty. If you’re able to say those things about yourself great job, and I hope people will encourage that instead of discourage it and in return you should encourage others as well.

  6. Who cares? We all have to walk our own path. We all learn at our own pace. I would love to interview this woman on her 60th birthday (what’s the life expectancy of a Russian model these days?) and compare her thoughts then and now.

  7. i just like how this post is about not talking about perfection and then tears down this girl for wanting to achive it- then why make an article about it? just to tear her down??? why not write an article about how perfect fat people are instead of going out of your way to say shes not perfect by writing a whole article… media- you are contradicting yourself… SHTAP.

  8. To call herself "perfect" is putting everyone else down who she perceives as NOT perfect. In my opinion, her parents have issues and they have passed them onto her.

  9. Dear Ali,

    I am a fan of your TV personality. I remember that you were my favorite contestant watching that season of The Bachelor you were on, because you were easy to watch and comfortable with being yourself. I also admired how in tune you were to the surrounding situations. It is even better that you were chosen to fulfill (what I assume) a career beyond your dreams. You are a great role model for young women, and I applaud you for that.

    Last night, I read this article before going to bed. I woke up today still thinking about it. There was a salty taste in my mouth that struck an inner dialogue. "How could one woman question another woman’s happiness through pictures and an interview?" Continuing your TV personality on E!, I can only assume you understand first-hand the phenomena of being distorted in the limelight. Usually, any story can be fabricated based on an imaginary reality contained within a photograph. Since the photograph contains pieces to the puzzle, the journalist judging their inner being must be true! … Right?

    I feel that this article highlights where women in this day and age hit a brick wall. Who are we to judge the legitimacy of another woman’s happiness? Who are we to tear down a woman for not just wanting, but CLAIMING to be perfect? I agree- Perfection is a materialistic value, therefore perfection doesn’t exist… but since we live in a world where value is manifested in materialistic assets, why are we so ashamed by the acceptance of the end goal of perfection, when striving for it is necessary? Not just in our looks, but our abilities as Women.

    I am in no means close to perfection when it comes to the shape of my body, as I currently choose to not spend time working out. It is my choice and I understand that my body is not at it’s most healthy. But I also know, that the shape of your body does not define your worth. I am free to understand that I have a different goal toward my own fantasy of perfection, and that is what drives me to wake up every day. I want to be a "perfect" film director. If I make a short film, and then see it as "perfect", it is not that I am rejecting to notice its flaws- yet I can see the beauty in the little mistakes, and I have halted my anxieties by accepting them as part of a whole. This is where I find my happiness, because I have spent a lot of time devoting my brain to this craft. The only difference with Angelica, is that her short film is her body, and her journey toward perfection is physically attached to her conscious self. We can see this as materialistic, yet she devotes her time toward toning a sculpture that will one day cease to exist outside of photographs. Why can’t we appreciate the beauty in that?

    Given the first-hand judgment of the subject, it seems that she claims to be happy. Why is this so hard to believe?

    We can argue that her parents’ actions were unjust because it doesn’t line up with societal norms, and they failed to let a bird fly free during adulthood (which will inevitably cause problems for her once they pass on- that’s another story). But, the question you ask here is "Do you believe she is happy when she claims to be?"

    This is why I think she is happy- because she is doing this for not just her mother, but for herself. As a child, she spent hours fascinated on this person she wanted to become, so she spent time putting on shows and modeling in the mirror. My mom wanted me to be girly too, but I wouldn’t have it. I would pout when she put me in a dress. With her guidance, we eventually met in the middle, and I continued being happy with the tomboyish character I felt comfortable becoming as a child. Do you see the similarities here? Just like Angelica and her mother, my mother and I had a bonding experience of discovering my style, which still has influenced what is currently hanging in my closet. Today, Angelica has maintained this Barbie look she desired as a child, and she spends both time and money to do this for herself.

    “’Since I was a child, my parents styled me as a ‘Barbie’ so I’m glad that I’m equated to one – Barbie is the idol of girls around the world.’ Growing up, Angelica was given the best upbringing and education that money could buy."

    I think the above statement is what makes us want to tear her down. It seems like her life has gone swimmingly well, and as a result looks like a doll. We want to reject her happiness because we see no apparent struggle. Perhaps she doesn’t struggle with herself, because she is at peace with herself. Or perhaps she chooses to keep her struggle quiet, and stay positive so it doesn’t blow up in her face. The reality is that we ALL STRUGGLE. Not acknowledging that struggle separates us from our humanity. But Angelica is not advocating her humanity. She is advocating her vanity. Vanity is part of objectification, and that is exactly what she wishes to become- an object. Who are we to tell her that she is living her life incorrectly when she CHOOSES to live her life this way? We should appreciate that women have a choice to do this. To be offended by it is merely a reflection of one’s own insecurities.

    She doesn’t pursue her niche characteristics for the enjoyment of men, but is beautiful for the sake of younger children’s admiration. Unfortunately the looks of idols around the world grow with the times, so looking like a barbie is a little outdated as a hot trend. But instead of changing for society, she sticks to who she wants to be. If she wants to be what she believes is a beautiful woman, let her be without rolling your eyes. We need to start accepting women rather than tearing them down. ESPECIALLY "beautiful" (however you may define that) women. Natural or not, people are people. Their happiness is their own business, as their journey is their own story. We can be beautiful and happy, but we can ALSO be ugly and happy. We can be beautiful and sad, and we can be ugly and sad. Looks don’t equate to how we feel on the inside.

    All in all, Angelica never put down another being because they did not rise up to her personal ideal of perfection. She isn’t promoting that everyone should look as so. At the same time, you put down another being because they look as so, and since they have claimed to rise to their ideal perfection, it must be questioned. Women should join hands and appreciate each other in our most chiseled and bizarre forms, rather than bring each other down for being who we are at this moment. We don’t see any articles questioning if a male bodybuilder is truly happy. That is because men don’t care if other men see themselves as perfect. There is power in perfection, so great if you have that! Even better, there is a lot more power in appreciating other’s perception of perfection. I vote that we leave judgements aside when they are uncalled for.

    The last thing I want to hear this election season is if Hillary is "truly happy" because we question the way her body looks.

    I hope these words serve as some food for thought. You are an incredible woman, and have the opportunity to be a stronger voice for the women on women war. It starts with a change of perception, and I am glad that you posted this article for me to reflect on. What are the small and large ways we can we improve the way women respond to each other?

    Sincerely,

    Alanna Bagladi

  10. Hi Alanna,

    Thank you so much for you thoughtful response. I read the whole thing and really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

    I want to you know that I am not judging her because she is a woman. I would feel the same way about her if she were a man. There is a man who claims he has the "perfect" male body and refers to himself as the Human Ken doll and I also believe that the message he sends young men is a toxic one. I really don’t consider myself a judgmental person, but I feel strongly against people (both men and women) being so obsessed about looks. Vanity is a disease this country faces in my mind. SO many people talking countless selfies and using hundreds of filters to "perfect" their look.

    I want people to celebrate intelligence and kindness! Wouldn’t it be incredible if she were celebrating her "perfect" mind or "perfect" heart!?!? And don’t get me wrong I also think we should celebrate our bodies, but her body is not natural. Nothing about her look is. I hope my niece Lennon never sees these pictures and never thinks this is what she should strive to be. By calling her body perfect, is she saying that yours isn’t? That mine isn’t? Or that everyone else in the world who isn’t a size double zero isn’t? It would be a completely different story if she said "my body is perfect for ME" That I would understand.

    Hope you see where I am coming from now and know that I am still that girl you watched on the Bachelorette. If anything, I believe is empowering women ever MORE now. But these aren’t empowering images. To me they are posters for VANITY.

    Ali

  11. After reading this, it reminds me that "perfection" doesn’t exist. There are so many women out there who continously remind other women that we must be super slim, in shape, no fat.. but in reality it’s all false. We were created as our own unique individuals with different body shapes. Seeing this ‘Russian Barbie’ makes me appreciate my body so much more. As long as you are happy with yourself, that’s what matters. Curves are beautiful on women, and having self confidence in yourself will make you a happier person over all. I’m not one to normally brag, but I am in decent shape. However, I do sometimes get discouraged seeing models on tv and looking at their bodies and thinking to myself, "I want that..". It’s crazy how society had created an image that women have to match up to. Love yourself, and the rest will fall into place. God created us in His own omage, and with that everyone woman is beautiful the way she is. 🙂

  12. When a person’s hand and fingers appear flat and abnormally large when compared to their wrist, arm and waist, there is a problem. Will her parents be proud of her if she puts on weight or is it conditional?
    I see sadness in her eyes and she is existing not living.

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