Ashton Clarke, 22, a scholarship student at the University of Tennessee, has spoken out about how she isn’t taken seriously due to her fake Barbie aesthetics. Currently a clinical psychology research assistant and student, Clarke hopes to obtain a PhD. She speaks Norwegian, Persian and Spanish and is an exhibited artist.
At 16-years-old, Ashton gave herself a dramatic makeover to style herself as Barbie. She bleaches and dyes her hair blonde, applies fake tan, has lip fillers, contours her face, wears false eyelashes, hair extensions and coloured contact lenses. This amounts to nearly $1000 to maintain her look.
“For years, I was terrified of doing the “Barbie look” because I thought people would make fun of me.
But for me when I look “fake”, I feel more like “me” than I ever have in my life. This is how I like to look. It may not be natural but it’s “me”.
People are always so taken back when they meet me because I don’t fit into the stereotypical mould they’ve placed me in because of my “artificial’ appearance. They expect me to be an airhead or shallow.’
There are so many individuals who believe that you can’t be a successful academic whilst also dedicating time to your appearance.
I want to show that it is possible. Make-up is an art and looking like a ‘Barbie’ is just one of my many interests.”
She continues, “Growing up, I was extraordinarily shy. But when I was around 14-years-old, I came across a book about Theatrical Make-up.
I was fascinated with all the methods and materials that can be used to transform a face. I always associated the Barbie look with confidence and being so painfully shy, the possibility of feeling confident and beautiful was very appealing.
“It’s also a look that was so opposite to my natural appearance. I started viewing physical modification and make-up as an art.”
Her tumblr page, “Best of Barbie” has garnered a following. Recording her transformation and her make-up skills, she has many fans who idolise her.
“When I started my blog in 2012, it was originally just an archive of photos of girls that I personally found aesthetically inspiring. For instance, I really like the way Kylie Jenner is doing the Barbie look.
I was surprised when people took interest my blog. That was totally unexpected, but it’s given me the opportunity to connect with other people who like experimenting with hair and make-up.
I feel comfortable in my skin. And I’m not afraid of showing my ‘before’ photos because I really do take pride in it. Make-up is an art.
It’s liberating to simply look the way you want to look without worrying what people think about it.
The comments I get on the blog are overwhelmingly positive and I’m so thankful for my followers. They mean a lot to me.
The positive feedback is well-worth any hate comments. When someone makes a rude comment on my photos, I make sure to let them know that my make-up isn’t for them. It’s for me.”