At 15, Venus, whose real name is Venus Palermo, has taken her doll obsession to the next level.
Under the screen name Venus Angelic, the London-based teen posts YouTube tutorials on how to look like her. So what’s so strange about that, you ask? Well, she just so happens to look like a living doll.
Palermo says you too could be a ball-jointed doll (or BJD) with some over-sized pupil contacts, plastic-sheen-effect powder, and pure white eye shadow.
Based on her 5 million viewers and the hordes of lookalike fans on her Facebook page, people are crazy about Venus Angelic.
The modern ball-jointed doll is incredibly popular in Japan, a country with which both she and her mother are obsessed.
“Mommy cooks Japanese, thinks Japanese, goes to Japan with me,” writes Palermo on her blog. “Because we like it. Liking something, is soooooo GREAT!”
Palermo is actually of Austrian, Swiss, and Hungarian descent, but she’s been studying Japanese along with several other languages. Her multilingual background is how she explains her accent.
While Palermo’s videos seem lighthearted enough, some call them “freaky” and “disturbing.” Her unique appearance is raising the red flag for concerned critics. Modern Asian ball joint dolls have become much more realistic in recent years, with a special line of “physically mature” dolls recently released for “adult” purposes.
So how does Venus’ mother keep her safe from the unsavory types that may be lurking out there? Mom serves as host of Q&A chats between teen and her adoring fans. In one video that was uploaded in 2011, her mother watched while her daughter had an awkward exchange with a 24-year-old male caller who professed his love for her, then belittled her.
In the description for that video, Palermo refers to her fans as “lovers.” The title of the video is “Insane Guy in Love.”
“The case of Venus Angelic is uncomfortably exploitative, as there is clearly a sexual undertone to what she is doing,” says Hilary Levey Friedman, PhD, a Harvard sociologist who’s an expert on child exploitation in media.
“In general, young girls on YouTube is a disturbing, growing trend,” she adds.
Sometimes, parents are unaware of what their children are doing on YouTube. Other times, the parents are facilitators.
“Remember, Justin Bieber got his start on YouTube with the help of his mother,” says Friedman.
So what do you think of the “Living Doll”? Harmless hobby or dangerous obsession?
Venus Angelic shows you how to look like a giant, living doll in the video below.
- Youtube’s newest viral star looks like a …. living doll [literally] (bazaardaily.com)