"Twenty year-old Katie Lawrence lives her life as a human doll," the Barcroft TV announcer says. "Katie is obsessed with Lolita fashion." Katie Lawrence, however, begs to differ.
On June 27, Barcroft TV uploaded a video called "Real Life Human Doll". The two minute clip follows a young woman named Katie Lawrence. It shows her putting on make-up, talking about Japanese fashion, going into London's Camden Town and shopping at Sai Sai. The video's YouTube description reads:
Blonde Katie Lawrence lives every day as a human doll - spending three hours each day perfecting the look. The 18-year-old, from Camberwell, London, dresses in petticoats and pastel colours and admits to being obsessed with looking like a doll. But even though Katie attracts unwanted attention - she's happy to stand out from the crowd.
The video was picked up by numerous mainstream British outlets. It also found its way onto 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board. The angle was the same: Katie Lawrence is a human doll.
The video isn't true, Lawrence now alleges. According to Lawrence, the video misrepresents her. "I have never felt so disrespected in my entire life," she wrote on her Facebook page.
Lawrence's friend Holly (aka Hollitaima), who also appeared in the Barcroft TV, called the video "warped" and "bastardized" in a response video.
"There was absolutely no [prior] discussion about trying to look like a human doll," said Holly. You can watch that below.
Katie Lawrence works as an alternative model and make-up artist under the name Iska Ithil. Her popular Facebook page has over 30 thousand likes, and a quick search shows that while she has dressed in Lolita fashion, she doesn't appear to be obsessed with it. The vast majority of her photos are alternative model shots, not Lolita pics.
Even though Lawrence incorporates elements of Lolita fashion, she is also incorporating elements of many other styles and subcultures, whether that's punk, cyberpunk, goth, and so on. Her look is eclectic.
"I'm just so pissed off at the company that asked me to do it," Lawrence wrote on her Facebook. "The more we did together, the more I realised that they wanted me to be someone else. They wanted me to take out my piercings, they wanted me to pretend I was a Lolita, they wanted me to say ridiculous false things about my lifestyle, and just so they can send it to hideous right-wing publications for sensationalist articles. All I can do is pretend it never happened and hope that people around me understand that it's bullshit."
People aren't forgetting it happened. They're hoping to change what happened. On YouTube, the "Real Life Human Doll" video's comment section is buzzing with complaints, with people demanding that the video be taken down.
In the video's comments, Barcroft TV has since written, "It seems some of you disagree with the title of this film. We're happy to change it. What do you suggest?"
"I suggest you delete this video and all subsequent articles entirely and issue a formal apology for the blatant misrepresentation, lies and slander you have perpetuated about this young model," wrote YouTube user ohmyitsguy. "Your business practices are highly unethical, deceptive and absolutely deplorable. The title of the article isn't the issue here."
Kotaku reached out to both Katie Lawrence and Barcroft TV, but did not receive a reply from either prior to publication.