A paralyzed Finnish woman says she dresses up every day like Barbie and Britney Spears to inspire others with spinal cord injuries and to cope with her physical difference.
“Both the doll and the singer are my idols and helped me through some of my darkest times,” Jasmin Britney told Metro.co.uk. “Now I’m dedicating my life to looking like them.”
The news website reported that Britney became a quadriplegic, or paralyzed below her neck, at age 9, in March 1998, when she got hit by a car while crossing the street. The driver had been texting, she said. Today, spends upwards of three hours a day having her makeup done to resemble the popular doll and singer.
Britney’s injury has required using a breathing tube and a wheelchair, and she receives around-the-clock care.
“Having people do my own makeup and hair is a joy because that’s how I feel things— it’s the only part of my body that can recognize touch,” she told Metro.co.uk. “But it’s frustrating too because I can never be the one who fixes the eye shadow or fixes the fake lashes. It is always someone else who has to do it.”
She told Metro.co.uk that she spends about $11,300 annually— including more than $500 on each pair of shoes— on flashy clothes and makeup to look like her idols. It’s unclear whether she has gotten cosmetic surgery, or whether Britney was her last name at birth as it matches the moniker of one of her idols.
Britney has posted photos of herself online as well as a video on YouTube with English subtitles. She hopes the media raise awareness about her story, including the dangers of texting while driving and spinal cord injuries themselves.
“I am doing it to raise awareness about spinal cord injury but also it will be my way of living freely online,” she told the news website. “I know some people see Barbie and Britney as vacuous but for me they’re inspirational. I refuse to not look glamorous just because I am in a wheelchair.”