This is Valeria Lukyanova:
Although you might recognise her from photos like this:
Valeria is a Ukranian model who makes her living being a ‘human Barbie‘. She’s had a LOT of plastic surgery, and uses make up and photoshop to create ‘perfect’ images which she then puts on her Facebook page (it’s not entirely clear how she makes money from it, but there you go).
Although the images are clearly heavily manipulated, it’s obvious that Valeria still has to do some serious work to get the right proportions to live as a Barbie Doll. And now she’s revealed the ridiculous diet she follows in order to get there:
Yep. It’s exactly what you think; breatharianism is a ‘diet’ where no food or water is consumed. Members of the breatharianism cult (and it is definitely a cult) believe that they can live off only light and air, or what they call ‘cosmoc micro-food’. The logic (and we use that term lightly) behind the theory, is that if plants can live solely off the nutrients provided by the sun, then humans should be able to as well.
You may have heard of Breatharianism when Michelle Pheiffer admitted recently that she was briefly part of the cult in the 90’s, thanks to two crazy fitness professionals.
Valeria has been ‘in training’ for the last few weeks:
“In recent weeks I have not been hungry at all,” she says. “I’m hoping it’s the final stage before I can subsist on air and light alone.”
It’s obviously completely ridiculous.
“Plants have what are called choroplasts that contain chlorophyll and they have the ability to capture energy from sunlight,” physician and health broadcaster Dr. Robert Hoffman told The Guardian. “Humans don’t have cholorphyll or chloroplasts. No humans do. It is impossible for a human to have that. Therefore they have to derive energy from external sources, that can be either fat or protein or carbohydrates, but it can’t be sunlight.”
Valeria almost certainly has a few screws loose – she has said she thinks she’s from another planet, probably Venus – but her promotion of this diet is taken seriously by a lot of people. She has almost one million Facebook fans, and updates them regularly on her progress.
She is promoting an eating disorder. There’s no other way to put it. She may call it ‘training herself’ to live off the sun’s nutrients, but everyone else calls it starvation. She is starving herself to maintain her Barbie body, and it’s beyond dangerous; several people linked to the cult have died of starvation.
Here’s hoping she gets the help she needs.
If this post brings up any issues for you, you can contact The Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders via their website (www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au) or on their National Support Line (1800 33 4673).