- - Sunday, November 29, 2015

Amber Guzman is changing, ever evolving into a “living doll,” a life-size “Barbie.”

For those unfamiliar with the trend, young women around the world are spending time, money and sometimes hours of painful surgery to look like little girl’s playthings — some for fun, others for profit. But Ms. Guzman does this for another reason. As revealed on a recent episode of “The Doctors” TV show, Ms. Guzman suffers from muscular dystrophy, a debilitation disorder that causes the restricting and tightening of muscles and a lifetime — often shortened — of pain. She has become a “Living Doll” in order to cope with her own symptoms and helps other suffering deal with the disease.

At the recent Long Beach Comic-Con in Long Beach, California, Ms. Guzman being a living, breathing human being made up to look like a full-size Barbie. The true beauty of this doll comes from within.

Question: What inspired you to become a living doll?

Answer: I have always wanted to dress in more of a Japanese fashion — the “Lolita” fashions from Japan. But what really carried me into it was my illness, muscular dystrophy, which is affecting my body and causing me to lose my muscles, which is making it harder for me to move. The disease is actually turning me into an actual living doll.

Q: What was the toughest physical procedure you went through in this transformation?

A: I haven’t had any procedures done. Maybe the hardest thing is the clothing. I make my own clothing because my size is hard to find because I’m quite skinny and tall. 

Q: You’ve done all this without cosmetic surgery?

A: That’s right. I haven’t done anything surgically to myself.

Q: Are there plans for surgical enhancements?

A: Nope, I like myself the way that I am. I think I’m pretty set. I don’t have any plans for surgery.

Q: When you started changing into a living doll, did you sketch out what the final look would be when you were done?

A: No, I just started little by little. Started buying contacts. I liked the way the contacts looked. Then I bought different wigs and it just evolved from there.

Q: How long has this been going on?

A: About ten years. I’m 28 now. It’s been a long time that I have been dressing like this.

Q: What do you say to naysayers who wonder why you’re doing this?

A: I just say, “It’s best to be who you want to be. Not a copy.” I love being myself. I don’t want to look like anybody else. I would rather stand out and be unique.

Q: Is your transformation complete? Or are you still evolving?

A: I’m forever evolving. I like changing and looking a little bit different. I’ll tweak things here and there. Sometimes I’ll be a little bit more Gothic or be more cutesy. I forever change.

Q: What advice would you give a young person who want to become a living doll?

A: Just take it at your own time. Don’t worry about what people have to say about you. Just be yourself and have fun with it. You should never be afraid to express yourself.

Q: Is this how you make a living? Are you a living doll 24/7?

A: Yes. I’m pretty much a living doll 24/7. I do cosplay and stuff like that. But mostly I’m a living doll 24/7, and I do make money off of that.

Q: How long does it take you ready in the morning?

A: It takes a half-hour to an hour depending on how much work I want to put into myself that day. I wake up quite normally. I have red curly hair and freckles on my face. I put on makeup and a wig and turn into the doll that I am.

Q: How and when did you find out you had muscular dystrophy?

A: I found out that I had muscular dystrophy in October 2012 when they did a muscle biopsy [from my shoulder and leg]. What makes muscular dystrophy so interesting is that it is normally a male-dominant disease. Females only make up a small percentage of people who have this disease.

Q: By talking about your illness, do you hope to inspire others living with the disease?

A: My mission is to inspire people with and without a major illness. I want people to know that they shouldn’t waste this amazing, yet short, time we have on this planet. You can achieve anything you put your mind and heart into, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you! Everyone has amazing talents inside them just waiting to be used, and I want to show people that even if I can’t move my body, I will still find a way to live and enjoy my life.

For more on Amber Guzman, visit her YouTube channel, “Amber Living With Dystrophy.”

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