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Many of us grew up with Barbie as our role model. We wanted to look like her and dress like her; we wanted to be her.

Chinese social media influencer Delilah, 28, was no different. Like many of us, she had been fond of the fictional doll since childhood. She frequently dresses up in elaborate and intricate outfits, resembling those you would find in a doll’s wardrobe.

She’s Known As “China’s No. 1 Barbie”

china barbie victorian

Credits: 芭比迪丽拉(4296132351)/Xiaohongshu

While the idea of looking like Barbie can be appealing, the process of getting there can be a lot harder than it seems.

Delilah, who garnered much attention online for looking like a porcelain doll, was rumoured to have gone under the knife a total of 108 times.

china barbie retro

Credits: 芭比迪丽拉(4296132351)/Xiaohongshu

She prides herself on her doll-like appearance and proudly wears the title of “China’s No. 1 Barbie.”

Today’s Unrealistic Beauty Standards

China Barbie Anita Yuen

Credits: @MissTomato123/Xiaohongshu

Although Delilah has a fair share of supporters who think she is beautiful, not everyone seems to be fond of her transformation.

Her unnatural features are exceptionally apparent when she was standing next to 52-year-old actress Anita Yuen (third from the left in image shown above).

While Anita looks like she hasn’t aged a day, netizens point out that Delilah’s doctored features appeared strikingly unrealistic in comparison. The drastic contrast between the two women sparked debate online on whether Delilah had taken it too far with her aesthetic pursuits.

Under a viral post of the two photographed next to each other, netizens have commented about how Anita “took a photo with a monster”, with some questioning why Delilah “chose to undergo all these procedures to look this strange”.

At Anita’s peak, plastic surgery was significantly less prevalent. Today, many turn to cosmetic surgery to enhance their natural features, or completely transform them.

china barbie qipao

Credits: 芭比迪丽拉(4296132351)/Xiaohongshu

While that has been increasingly normalised in today’s world, it makes us ponder about the unrealistic beauty standards promoted in the media today.

The overrepresentation of celebrities and influencers having undergone plastic surgery in the media creates an illusion of what beauty should look like.

When every face you see on the screen sports surgically altered double eyelids and a tall nose, what message does this send to the audience? Does it set unrealistic expectations for beauty?

How Much Is Too Much?

While Delilah denied ever going under the knife, many netizens’ observations seem to tell otherwise.

As seen in videos and livestreams, she often struggles to open her mouth and demonstrates difficulty in eating and speaking.

Even when eats, she can only take small bites of food. When eating a piece of bread, she has to shred it into smaller pieces before putting them into her mouth.

china barbie eating

Credits: 芭比迪丽拉(4296132351)/Xiaohongshu

A large majority of the comments on her Xiaohongshu post seem to suggest that she has had surgery done. One netizen commented, “Her mouth… She will never be able to open it widely again.”

Not only do netizens believe that she has went under the knife several times before, they do not seem to be in favour of her appearance, with comments about how she looks “frightening”, and “resembles an alien” flooding her social media posts.

She refutes the plastic surgery allegations by insisting that she was just “born with a cherry mouth”, a term commonly used to describe smaller lips in Chinese.

When do the potential health risks of cosmetic surgery outweigh the desired outcomes of aesthetic enhancements? Should we let it interfere with everyday activities like eating?

More importantly, at what point should we learn to draw the line?