Thursday, 30 January 2014


“I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world, life is plastic it’s fantastic”, yes there’s no doubt that this is some seriously catchy lyrics by Aqua.  And whether you managed to catch Channel 4 “Secret Of The Living Doll” which aired on 6th January 2014 or not, it will give you the ideology of its literal term “life is plastic it’s fantastic” should in fact never be practised in the real world.

Unlike Barbie’s, the programme follows a congregation of full grown men with a rather bizarre fetish. Some of them were either married, single, rich or poor but they all had one thing in common - they live a double life; in their spare time they dress up like life-size female dolls.

Afraid of the stereotypes of the society, this has meant that they have kept their fetish a secret, but in this programme we see them finally taking their creation from indoors to outdoors.

We first take a trip to California, where we meet Robert, a 70 year old retired property developer. And we soon discover that he has been married for 10 years, but is now recently divorced and now lives with his daughter in a mansion. Like any big house; it’s spacious and looks reasonably normal. Having lovely wooden floor and wide windows, the only thing that stands out is the collections of fine arty mask bought from his travels. But as we go up the spiral wooden polished staircase, before arriving to his bedroom and opening the walk-in wardrobe, we come across his most priced collection – rubber, fleshy looking mask, body suit with female parts used from the clipping of his own hair. This gives a whole new meaning to “Keeping it in the closet”.

The people responsible for the product (Femskin) are a family, consisting of three boys and Barbie Ramos who’s not only their Mother, but also their Manager/Creative Director. Usually unique names are a sign of greatness and sometimes even an insight to what one might do as career. But with the name Barbie, it’s seems ironic that she lived up to her name by co-founding such a lucrative company.

With their business booming more than ever, we come across four more men who buy into this product.  Now you would think a father and husband would struggle to get support from his family but oddly enough they seem fine with the whole situation; his daughter goes as far as helping him dress into his Alter-ego. Taking the vowel “Through sickness and health” this first seems a sickness, but the way his wife supports her husband by encouraging him, makes you wonder whose sick – is it the wife, him, the daughter or us for being so judgemental (It is a free world after all) – a world turned upside down, where plastic dolls have feelings – you can’t help but feel for these plastics!

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