Apparently, there’s some newfangled “real life Barbie doll” craze that’s taking over the entire interwebs right now. That’s right – the WHOLE ENTIRE INTERWEBS. And I never, ever exaggerate, especially when it comes to the vitally important topic of people who look like inanimate objects that are found in a child’s room (or lonely spinsters’ living rooms). Two popular “living-dolls” on social media have Internet users and media outlets worldwide wagging their tongues and their fingers, among other things.
First, meet Venus Palermo, or as she’s more popularly known, “Venus Angelic.” If that sounds like a rejected character from the crossover anime hit Sailor Moon, it isn’t from a lack of trying. She’s a 15 year-old teen based in London, England, where she spends her days in complete and utter denial of reality; Venus is an “otaku.” That’s right, she’s one of those people you often find “cosplaying” as anime and manga characters at various nerd conventions because their lives have been so maddeningly mediocre that their only form of escape is dressing up as fantasy characters with a bushel of spiky pink hair and feet the size of baby hippos.
But that’s not enough for Venus. Of Austrian, Swiss and Hungarian ancestry, Venus wants to be the living embodiment of a Japanese ball-jointed doll, a look that’s popular in Japan. She has a blog and a popular YouTube channel with over 8 million views where she gives beauty tips to girls that aspire to look like her, and guys that aspire to kidnap her so that they can put her in a school girl’s uniform, take her on a trip to Sea World and have her fondled by Ollie the Octopus (thanks for your unique contribution to universal feminism, Japanese men). Her channel has videos of her giving tips on the palest foundation to use, contacts to give you enlarged, cartoonish eyes and random videos that show off her super-kawaii nature.
Besides the fact that she looks like something that would make you butt pee if you saw her in the corner of your bedroom at night, you might have also noticed something else very strange – she sounds like she’s mimicking the accent and voice of a very young Japanese girl. Of course, because she is so adept at living in and processing the real world, Venus lets people know that it’s just her unique mix of European accents. Uh huh.
You’ve met bride of Chucky, so now meet another famous living-doll – Dakota Rose Ostrenga. She’s the 16 year-old (supposedly) younger sister of Internet cautionary tale, Kiki Kannibal. A former “scene” girl, Dakota is now an object of adulation in Japan and around the world for her style, doe-like eyes, porcelain skin and overall cold, cold beauty. If you look deeply into her eyes, you’ll come to the realization that her soul is empty, but only right before you’re sucked into a never-ending vortex of freezing blackness mixed with cloying Japanese pop ballads.
Known to her fans as “Dakotakoti,” her YouTube channel of hair and style tips only has 10 videos, but has already amassed over 13 million views. Besides that, you can browse her blog, and the thousands of other blogs that chronicle her wild adventures of standing and sitting in various places with an expressionless face.
But Dakota and Venus’s popularity don’t come without a price – they’ve been widely criticized for promoting the sexualization of young, teenage girls. Photos of Dakota that could be considered provocative, to say the least, certainly do exist. Creepy and perverse comments from countless men litter their video and picture pages; they’re the quintessential 4Chan chum bait. Then there’s the one time Venus chatted with one of her adult male fans while her mom was chaperoning:
What do you think of this trend?