Over the last few years model Valeria Lukyanova has become an Internet celebrity for her often-criticized appearance, as she's popularly referred to as the "Human Barbie."
Recently, Lukyanova -- who now goes by the name Amatue -- agreed to a Skype interview with Cosmopolitan where she opened up about her life, the strange mystique she's built up around herself, and her popular nickname.
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"I don't think they are right," she said, when asked what she thought about people referring to her as “Human Barbie.” "I think it's even a little degrading and insulting, but I'm used to it now, since that's what my work demands and this is precisely the image most fans request. So I have to comply with it because it's become part of my aesthetic image, but I don't like it."
Despite not liking the "degrading" moniker, she often tags her own photos with #Barbie. According to Lukyanova, this is so that she can easily be found online.
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"When people look for me, they look for me with that hashtag," she explained. "I'm the most popular [Barbie] copy in the world. When people say 'Barbie,' it's clear that it's associated with me, not anyone else. So that's why I use that hashtag — so people can find me this way."
The Eastern European model's tiny waist, disproportionately large bust, long blonde hair and intricate makeup have generated a lot of controversy among people who claim the images are Photoshopped and/or blame Lukyanova for perpetuating stereotypes and impossible beauty standards.
In May, Lukyanova posted a message to her critics online, along with new photos that were some of the model's most controversial yet. Despite claiming that she doesn't alter her photos -- and that the only surgery she's had is breast implants -- Lukyanova did later admit that the pictures she posted that day had been altered, but she argued that it was mostly "color correction."
In her interview with Cosmo, Lukyanova concluded with a message of love, aimed at those who say she perpetuates a negative body image for young girls. "I want to wish for everyone to learn to love themselves. And when they learn to love themselves, they will be loved by others."
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