Student splashes $10K a year to live as a real life Victorian doll!
Meet the student who is splashing more than $10k a year so that she can live as a real life Victorian doll.
Medora Ruiz, 22, from São Paolo, Brazil, became obsessed with the dresses, bows and hats worn by her favourite childhood dolls – and now lives just like one every day.
She started making her own old-fashioned dresses eight years ago and now has more than 30 dresses, each one can take between two weeks and two years to make.
The student says she spends in excess of $10,000 a year sourcing material, accessories and travelling to buy items for her unusual hobby.
It can take Medora up to three hours to get ready in her Victorian-era inspired clothing for doll conventions and up to an hour to dress up on a normal day.
Medora’s eccentric attire attracts a lot of attention, with strangers proposing date offers while children aren’t able to tell if she’s a real doll or a human.
She believes after dressing as a real life human doll for two years now that she would struggle to return to wearing normal clothing.
Medora said: “I’ve always loved dolls, they were my favourite toy when I was younger and even as I grew up I dreamed about their gorgeous clothing.
“Now I get to dress-up like a human doll every day, I love the dresses, the wigs, the lace, the accessories – it’s all so cute I can’t imagine a day I won’t want to do this.
“When I’m dressed up it feels like I’m in a magical world, I think a part of me is transported back to my childhood.
“I try to make my clothing as eccentric and extravagant as possible, just like the rococo aesthetics demands, then I go to beautiful places to have my picture taken in them.
“I get all of my inspirations from the dolls I used to play with, as well as the clothing of Marie Antoinette and more historical themed dresses from the Victorian and Renaissance period.
“I have more than 30 dresses and last year I needed a custom made wardrobe to store all of my dresses, skirts, blouses and accessories in.
“Everyone looks at me and says I’m a porcelain doll. I’ve even became famous in my city for the clothes I wear.
“Children get really excited when they see me, but also kind of afraid as they don’t know whether I’m a doll or a human.
“Grown-ups have more of a positive reaction, at first I was worried people would hate it but they love how I dress and always want pictures with me.
“I do get a lot of male attention because of what I wear, but I’m not looking for love or romance of any tipe so I have to turn them down.
“I easily spend $10,000 a year and put in countless hours of research into finding the materials I need and even travel to other cities to find it.
“Some of the dresses require expensive materials and end up being $2,000 or more, which is a lot but it’s worth it, as I’m expressing myself artistically and so to me the amount of money I spend doesn’t matter.
“My parents don’t like how much I spend on it, but to me it’s art and it’s important because it’s my work so they support me anyway.
“When I was younger I wanted to be pretty and beautiful, now that I’m living as a Victorian/Rococo doll I feel like I’m more confident with myself than I used to be before.
“I don’t know what would happen if I stopped dressing like this, my life would be completely different, I’ve had so many positive experiences and I don’t regret it at all.”
Medora says individually her dresses can cost up to $2,000 due to the material and accessories needed to put them together.
Since amassing her collection, she started living full-time as a Victorian doll two years ago and says at first she feared being attacked because of the outlandish designs.
She said: “When I first started dressing as a human doll I was really scared of getting beaten or assaulted, but I knew that if I didn’t dress like this I wouldn’t be happy at all.
“It’s not common to dress like this where I live, it’s a very poor city and so not a lot of people like to wear clothing that’s different from tradition.
“I’m still very careful with what I do, I would never walk along streets alone and avoid dangerous areas.”
Since learning to sew with her grandmothers eight years ago she’s been making her own dresses, but one outfit required her whole family to get involved and took two years to create.
Medora said: “It was a beautiful pink colour inspired by a doll I remembered from my childhood, when I found the pattern I knew it was perfect.
“Me, my grandma and parents were all working on the final piece – it was a lot of trouble.
“Once we finished putting it together it was like a dream come true, I didn’t expect it to be that much work but that’s why I love it.”
Medora struggled to imagine a day when she’ll start dressing like everyone else again.
She added: “People treat me like a princess whenever they see me, they are always gentle and really nice, before when I’d be out with my friends I’d never get treated like I do now.
I believe that when people see me they get more confident to be themselves and are transported back to a positive part of their childhood – I also get taken back to a dreamy atmosphere, which makes me really happy.”