The video: Venus Palermo, a 15-year-old London girl who goes by the name Venus Angelic, has become a YouTube sensation for her tutorials on how to make yourself look like a ball-jointed doll (BJD) by using exhaustingly elaborate makeup techniques, dyed hair, and special opaque contact lenses. (Watch a video below.) Venus, who affects a Japanese accent to sound like a cloyingly cute zombie, has been dressing like a living doll for two years, inspired by the doe-eyed Asian anime characters she encountered while living in Japan. "I don't think that I will ever stop," she tells — or threatens — the TV show RightThisMinute. "I think I will grow in my style, and just keep doing what I love."
The reaction: Venus' all-consuming interest in being a doll is "beyond creepy," says Jacqueline Burt at The Stir. It's dangerous. It may seem cruel to "rob a kid of her blissful ignorance," but somebody needs to tell this 15-year-old that those "how to become a living doll" tutorials are "actually 'how to build a fan base of grown men with a disturbing fetish' videos." More than 5 million YouTube viewers can't be all be perverts, RightThisMinute producer Betsy Gessel tells The Huffington Post. Weird or not, Venus "has influenced a lot of people.... [Dressing like a doll] is something a lot of people think about, and she's making it safe." See for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- Ban PowerPoint!
- 16 characters from other languages that make great emoticons
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week