Valeria Lukyanova was like any other little girl when she was growing up; she was obsessed with Barbie dolls.¬†Yet unlike her friends, Valeria’s fascination with the pretty plastic doll didn’t fade.

The story of the girl from Ukraine who grew up to become a real-life Barbie doll is a strange one. Since reaching her teens, she has dedicated her entire life to becoming the human Barbie, and won’t stop until she reaches the perfection she desires.

But exactly how did Valeria’s obsession transpire to an unhealthy relationship with body image? From her spiritual beliefs to her strict diet, discover more about her incredible journey below. How did she become known as the world’s first real-life Barbie doll?


1. Just a normal girl

Valeria Lukyanova was born in Moldovian SSR which was part of the Soviet Union until 1985. Shortly after she was born, however, she moved to Odessa, Ukraine, where she spent her entire childhood and most her adult life. Here is Valeria as a naturally pretty young girl before she became addicted to looking ‘perfect’. As she reached her teens, she started to experiment more with makeup and liked to recreate her Mattel Barbie doll. But no one could have guessed how her love of makeup would turn into a dangerous addiction.

2. Pre-Barbie

Valeria was very naturally pretty before she embarked on her journey to becoming the real-life Barbie. As a teenager she had a more ‘gothic’ look, but as time went on she begin to obsess over looking ‘perfect’. At this point in her life it was unclear what would trigger her unhealthy obsession with body image.