he 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
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- How to take the perfect profile picture for online dating, according to science
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- The one simple thing that can make you much more impressive
- 10 things you need to know today: March 7, 2014
Subscribe to the Week