real-life-barbie Valeria LukyanovaBuzz about a Russian woman who has altered her appearance to resemble a Barbie doll has been circulating around the internet recently. The woman in question is 21 year old Valeria Lukyanova. Lukyanova claims to be the “the most famous Russian woman on the Russian-language Internet.” Her Youtube page, Amatue, has millions of views and her Facebook page has a few thousand likes. She updated her accounts about every hour, with images and videos of her in different settings, walking around and even singing opera while playing on a keyboard. Critics are speculating that this may be a hoax, however it may just be a model trying to gain popularity. Lukyanova seems to be upset at the claims that her photographs are photoshopped, and has even posted photos of herself without makeup in defense. However, if her doll-like appearance does not have Photoshop to thank, there is most likely plastic surgery involved. The frenzy over Valeria’s exposure has encouraged many doctors and plastic surgeons to step out and assure the public that these results are not natural. On “Good Morning America’s” segment Tuesday morning, Dr. Anthony LaBruna, Plastic Surgeon Director of Manhattan Plastic Surgery, stated that in order for a woman to resemble Barbie, a woman would have to get “breast enhancements to be a 38DD”” and “cut some ribs out” to get an 18″ waist, make the hips “wider” and “change” her face. Dr. LaBruna hesitated to estimate how much Valeria Lukyanova spent on plastic surgery to achieve her Barbie look, but he believed it was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range – possibly up to half a million. Dr. Malcolm Roth, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said plastic surgery should never be used to transform oneself into a favorite celebrity or, in this case, a play toy. “We believe evaluating any and all issues that may affect our patients’ well-being, including psychological factors, is part of providing total patient care,” Roth said in a statement. “Additionally, Valeria is also only 21, so certain milestones in growth and physical maturity ought to be considered before plastic surgery is performed. ASPS cautions patients to keep in mind that plastic surgery is real surgery with real risks, just as with any operation, so the decision should not be taken lightly.” Diane Levin, Professor of Education at Wheelock College in Boston, said the mystery of her existence is not the issue. The problem is that her flaunted image epitomizes and exemplifies the issue of objectification of women in today’s society. “Barbie has always been controversial and really changed the discussion on how girls play,” said Levin, author of the book, “So Sexy So Soon: The Next Sexualized Childhood and How Parents Can Protect Their Kids.” ”When Barbie came around, play suddenly became about dressing up and looking right and it eventually played a role in how women wanted to look in real life. If society expects women to look like that, it is harder for almost any woman to totally resist it. This just feeds into our media screen culture, where being involved with real things are becoming more and more removed for children. Even if she’s totally photoshopped, the fact that her body is being changed to one that no one actually can attain epitomizes what is happening in our society.” Valeria’s physical appearance and predicted alterations kind of remind me of when Heidi Montag underwent a slew of procedures not too long ago. However, Valeria has taken alterations further in order to resemble a children’s toy. We shouldn’t be aiming to shame Valeria, but this absolutely raises concerns about what imitating  a doll that perpetuates body image issues in girls expresses.