Why This Japanese Woman Turned into a "Plastic Surgery Cyborg"

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Meet Vanilla Chamu. She greets fellow Japanese people with a "bonjour" and claims to be from the Palace of Versailles. She's not, of course. Recently, she was introduced on Japanese TV as "Osaka's Plastic Surgery Cyborg".

This past April, Chamu appeared on Japanese variety show Watashi no Nani ga Ikenai no? (私の何がイケないの? or "Is There Something Wrong with Me?"). Until this appearance, Chamu was not well known in Japan. She's done a little modeling work for fashion magazines, but nothing major. This week, Japan's largest forum 2ch, rediscovered the recent Chamu TV appearance, bringing her to the most net users' attention for the very first time.


On the show, Chamu talked about spending in excess of ten million yen (over US$100,000) to have over thirty procedures done. To earn that kind of money, she's worked as a hostess to save money to change her looks. Above, you can see how her appearance has evolved. In the first image, taken when she was 17, Chamu was plastic surgery free.

Ever since Chamu was a little girl, she wanted to look like a French doll, which have long been popular in Japan. On the show, Chamu explained why she wanted to become a living doll, why she's had over three dozen procedures, and perhaps why she'll never be content with the way she looks.


Chamu continues to get what's called "character plastic surgery" (キャラクター整形 or "kyarakutaa seikei") in Japan. The goal is too look like anime characters or, in Chamu's case, like dolls.

In the past few years, more and more "living dolls" have popped up online. Some of them, like Dakota Rose, use camera tricks to pull off their doll-like appearance. Others, like Valeria Lukyanova, seem to go under the knife.


As a young girl, Chamu was teased for her appearance. She was called "busaiku" (ブサイク) or "ugly". When she talked to her father about the bullying, her dad replied, "Well, you are ugly, so all you can do is suck it up." The incident, Chamu said, traumatized her. Around that time, she saw a French doll and decided she wanted to look like one.


"There isn't anyone who can look at a French doll and say they're not beautiful," Chamu said on the program. On the show, however, Chamu wasn't introduced as a doll, but as a "cyborg". The obvious nuance was that she no longer looks totally human. "I want to be a living doll," she asserted, however.


After graduating from high school, she got plastic surgery for the first time. And ever since then, she's continued to get more and more work done. On "Is There Something Wrong with Me?", members of the show's panel seemed disturbed by Chamu's insatiable appetite for plastic surgery, pointing out that this could eventually kill her.

After talking about a leg lengthening operation, Chamu said, "Under safe conditions, I want to become beautiful". That for her isn't limited to dieting or exercise, but also includes radically changing her appearance via surgery.


According to Vanilla, she won't be content until she's a perfect French doll. Seeing how Chamu sayid she was emotionally traumatized by childhood experiences, she's unlikely to ever be content with plastic surgery and her ever-evolving appearance. But at what point do her doctors tell her she's had enough?


私の何がイケないの? フランス人形整形モデルはvanilla! [トレぴちNEWS]

整形SP フランス人形になりたい女性。[醜形恐怖症な2人の体験談と治療法]

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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