Living Doll

99cfc8a879102686bdab898940b97d78The “living doll” trend is an example of new lifestyles championing ideal features of inanimate dolls rather than human perfection. This perspective of human bodily enhancement differs from the aesthetics classically associated with plastic surgery, in that its goal tends toward fictional characters and bodies which are not strictly aligned with human bodies. In the case of Nastya Shpagina (pictured), whose eyes emulate drawn anime eyes and whose face emulates a plastic mask, parts of the face become simulated eyes, and the face becomes a signifier of a face.

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3 Comments on "Living Doll"

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Maja Tingberg Kruse

Hi Rosemary!
Great example of enhancement you’ve chosen! I agree that the living doll trend illustrates a shift in our perception of beauty – one that emphasizes something not human due to its ack of imperfection. Do you think the reason for this fascination with fictional characters, perhaps especially in the anime genre, has to do with transcending the limits of the body? Could the beauty-ideal of the doll be seen as a symbol of the perfection and purity that seems to be inherent in some post- and transhumanist thought?
Thanks for sharing!

Florian Auerochs
Florian Auerochs
Gorgeous example, thanks for sharing. While the willingness and eagerness within the ‘living doll’-trend to embody something fictional, to borrow a fleshless phantasy the own flesh, is astounding, I doubt that the trend in the manifestation cited above is subversively posthuman. My note might sound shallow, but in my opinion Shpagina’s simulations perpetuate western beauty standars of the female body (as do a lot of animes as well) – and of the human body as such. While it is totally right that the living doll as a plastic/flesh/makeup-assemblage has a radical potential in signifying new forms of corporeality, and while… Read more »
Maria O'Connell

Florian, I agree. The trend toward making women’s bodies more uniform and norming a certain type through fashion is only enhanced by anime. The fact that women desire to look like the fantasy representation of the female is only a part of long trend pushing towards uniformity, rather than uniqueness. It might be considered posthuman, if only in the trend towards enhancing valued beauty traits (big eyes, tiny faces, lots of hair, and generally a tiny body).