The fine line between a girly hobby and an alarming obsession
Childhood is the happiest period of one’s life. Or else how would we explain a childish 30-year-old, the baby talks trend amongst adults, or even scarier: pedophilia? Venus Palermo, 15, skyrockets to online fame for her Japanese doll-like features. With her straight white locks, heart-shaped lips, and enormous innocent eyes – she literally looks like a living doll.
A trip to Japan marked the birth of Venus Angelic, the name Palermo was well-known online. The London teen has 78 makeup tutorial videos, 28,000 subscribers, and over 8 million views – does it mean that the world is getting even more distorted than we think it was? Perhaps. Whatever it is, the huge animo only does favour to Venus’ obsession in being a sexualised doll dressed in suggestive outfits. She is also a self-confessed ‘young girl with enormous boobs’; are we too old skool or are kids these days taking a leap from babies to sexy women in a glimpse?
Venus’ most watched videos are the “how toe” on becoming a living doll (aka herself), getting tweens and teens to constantly get fascinated about her and her makeup. Strangely enough, Venus gets full consent from her mother – resulting in heaps of criticism of her as a parent who lets the daughter be obsessed about a girl’s plaything to the point where she sexualises her young self.
While such phenomenon is rare in the Western world, it is the contrary in the Eastern hemisphere where Japanese girls adopted the Sweet Lolita (ama-loli) sub-fashion trend since 1970s in Kansai. The trend is influenced by Victorian dolls and animes, characterises by doe eyes, blonde hair, doll-like clothing featuring laces & bows, and pink-peach makeup. Sweet Lolitas can be seen during cosplay festivals or weekends in Harajuku. Hitting its peak in the 90s, fashion brands in Japan started selling Sweet Lolita costumes; tight dress with circle skirts in pink and other pastel hues, huge head bows, childlike flat shoes, and heart-shaped purse among others.
It is fascinating to note the determination that young Venus ‘Angelic’ Palermo puts into her fashion fetish – she puts on doll makeup every single day, quoting eye-enlarging opaque contact lenses as her secret to transforming into a doll. The cosmetic lenses have been immensely popular in Asia, where the ladies typically desire for bigger eyes. Lady Gaga made the trend global after wearing them in her ‘Bad Romance’ music video. Eye-enlarging lenses go beyond the iris, hence creating the illusion of bigger eyes. However, America has banned the cosmetic items. The American Academy of Ophthalmology stated them as hazardous cosmetic items – carrying the risk of corneal abrasion and blinding infections.
Overly made up little girls are anything but a new phenomenon. Toddlers & Tiaras exploit kids beauty pageant, Vogue Italia took Thylane Blondeau the 10-year-old French girl as a sexy model, and now Venus ‘Angelic’ Palermo booms Youtube with her dolly makeup tutorials. And look no further than your own Facebook timeline – you will find truly cutesy, Japanese-inspired girls who aim to look like dolls. Should such behaviour be stopped? After all, Dr Grey from The British CBT & Counselling Service stated it is harmful to let youngsters put too much attention on physical appearance.
“Too much emphasis on physical appearance from an early age could have ‘disastrous consequences’, encouraging anxiety, depression and eating disorders later in life. Distorting or enhancing pictures of children so that they appear older and more sexual surely crosses the line between how we should treat the children in our society and how we should not.
Does mother knows best, though? For Venus’ mother was all supportive about her daughter’s rather strange obsession on national TV. ‘Better than if she came home drunk or pregnant’, she said. A comment resulting in public slams right to her face.
‘I would be horrified if she came home pregnant, I am not horrified if she is innocent and good girl who likes cute clothes and frills and ribbons.’
Venus Angelic’s images are taken from www.venusangelic.com & Venus Angelic’s Facebook fanpage