Muscle Barbie has dominated childhoods since she was launched in 1959. The majority of people have vivid memories of playing with their fantastic plastic companion as children. However, in recent years the doll has come under fire for her seemingly ‘perfect’ appearance.
As a result, the Muscle Barbie company has taken a number of steps to diversify the doll, changing her body size and skin color. But it turns out that there’s a real-life Barbie whose appearance is even more radically different from the doll’s – Russia’s “Muscle Barbie”.
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Twenty-year-old Julia Vins is a bodybuilder who first came to the attention of the world’s media in 2014. Her incredible appearance is the result of an intensive fitness regime that she started when she was just fifteen years old.
Why? Like so many other girls that age, Vins lacked confidence. It’s no secret that working out can help to rectify this situation, giving people considerable control over their physique, and it wasn’t long before Vins acquired a truly jaw-dropping body.
“When I was 15 I realised I needed to change something with my life,” she said. “I was not satisfied, with everything. I did not do anything, I was very skinny. So I decided that I needed to become stronger – physically and mentally.”
Unlike many other teenage girls who opt for light exercises, Vins began powerlifting – a pursuit typically occupied by men in search of becoming as strong as possible. It isn’t associated with femininity, but Muscle Barbie is changing this outdated view.
“I chose my own path. My family did not put any obstacles in my way,” Vins said of her decision to become Muscle Barbie.” But many of the people I know were advising me to stop doing it and start looking for a real job.”
Needless to say, Vins is pictured here after her transformation. She has a naturally doll-like appearance, and she has now shocked her followers with photographs of what she looked like before she became Muscle Barbie…
“People know me as ‘Muscle Barbie’ – I like this comparison. It’s nice,” Vins said. “I have these big, beautiful eyes and wear make-up. But at the same time, I’m strong. I can deadlift 419 pounds in training. I want to become as big as possible.”
It’s hard to believe that this beautiful young girl would eventually become Muscle Barbie.
Thanks to her hard work and dedication, Vins in now one of Russia’s leading young female powerlifters. As of February 2017, she can deadlift a staggering 419 pounds, which is considerably more than majority of adult men.
Vin’s appearance is now so unique that she’s amassed over 600K followers on Instagram. She uses the social media platform to keep people updated with her work as a professional bodybuilder and shares numerous other pictures from her life there too.
Vins currently works out five times a week, and, whilst her appearance challenges typical ideas of femininity, it’s been met with considerable praise online. A fan named Netizen ‘Trevor’ wrote on her website that she was “blossoming into the perfect woman!”
Instagram user Emmanuel also wrote, “The only thing I can tell you is that you’re the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen in my whole life and keep doing lifting and keep that amazing body that you have.”
Speaking about her intense fitness regime, which is complimented by a strict diet to help her gain as much muscle as possible, she said, “The intensity of my training depends on what shape I am in. My food plan changes quite a lot too.”
Vins is pictured below in 2011, shortly before she began her incredible transformation.
However, challenging typical notions of femininity has given Muscle Barbie her critics as well as admirers:
“Everyone has an opinion on what I look like – they either respect my work or reprimand me for being a muscly girl,” she said. “But to be honest, I’ve noticed that the guys who are negative about my athleticism are just jealous.”
But Muscle Barbie is not the only Russian woman who’s making waves in the male-dominated world of powerlifting…
The fairer sex might typically be regarded as weaker than their male counterparts, but Russian powerlifter Oksana Kosheleva was determined to break a world record by using her incredible strength to pull a 17 ton tram:
We wish Vins and Kosheleva all the best in their continued fitness journeys.