I usually write about social media’s disruptive influence on business or communications but like everything we do there is a darker side which deals with its ability to disrupt our idea of beauty and create unrealistically high expectations.
I touched upon this briefly when I wrote about the convergence in image between Lady Gaga and Zahia Dehar but an even better example has come to light with Valeria Lukyanova, the 21-year-old Ukrainian, self-proclaimed living Barbie Doll.
As the web goes visual and social media creates porous worlds it challenges both what we find acceptable and our notion of what is possible. In the pre-social media era world the concept of a 21-year-old Ukrainian girl modelling herself on Barbie and gaining Facebook fame and internet notoriety would simply have not been possible.
The very concept here of course raises questions of role models, self-image issues and the norms we create, our notions of beauty and the potential lack of diversity we may be heading towards in the future. It also raises possibilities of a world where anyone is free to be anything they want, provided, of course, they do no real harm to themselves or anyone else.
Part of social media’s attraction is that it creates a level playing field not just for businesses and marketers but also for star wannabes and the proverbial “fifteen minutes” of fame, online last much, much longer.
I wonder what you think about it though.
The Real-Life Ukrainian Barbie Doll