By Ben Wheeler
MEET the kindergarten teacher who is so committed to living as an anime-style cartoon character that she works in the classroom with young children in full cosplay, complete with circle lenses that make her look unnaturally wide-eyed.
Images show Estrella Michelle, 20, from Mexico City, Mexico sporting a variety of looks using several different coloured wigs and dramatic make-up. One photo sees her posing in costume with a particularly striking blue and purple wig, which at first glance she could be easily mistaken for an anime cartoon character.
Estrella first discovered the human doll and cosplay styles whilst in high school after coming across some of the community’s most well-known online personalities such as Dakota Rose.
However, it wasn’t until three years ago that Estrella dared to start following the outlandish style she has now, through fear of the infamous ‘haters’.
“The children love seeing me as a doll with all the makeup and in childish dress like fluffy skirts for I example, which is great, I still feel normal because I’m comfortable dressing the way I do,” Estrella recalled.
“I originally discovered this style in high school, but didn’t know it was called human doll.
“I liked the images of girls who made themselves up as dolls, one in particular that came to my attention was Dakota Rose, who was the first person I modelled my style on.
“I’ve also loved seeing people who bring characters from tv, movies and video games to life, I later discovered it was called cosplay but didn’t dare start following the style myself until three years ago.
“Haters on the internet can be a problem as they will find any way to criticise me, although I don’t let them affect and don’t take their comments seriously.
“People have different reactions to the way I look, some look at me with astonishment, others with fear and some even make mocking gestures at me but it is only clothes and makeup, so I see no reason to feel different from other people.”
Estrella also detailed how she puts her stand-out look together, describing what goes in to being a human doll.
“I wear my circle lenses every time I go out somewhere and dress like this for all occasions, even in my teacher’s job,” she said.
“When I first dared to try out the doll look I knew absolutely nothing about it, I wasn’t sure if there were certain rules or requirements and I ended up looking really bad, I didn’t even know about the existence of circle lenses.
“YouTube was really useful as there are loads of tutorials that have helped me advance my style and improve the quality of my makeup, which used to take me two hours to complete the whole process but after lots of practice I can now do it 20 minutes.
“I know a lot of people who spend a lot on cosplay clothes and makeup but don’t know to use them and look bad. I’ve always thought that it doesn’t take much to achieve something beautiful and have seen people who spend very little and manage to look good, it’s a matter of practice and knowing that money doesn’t give you talent.”
Finally, Estrella talked about how her family feels about her passion for cosplay as well as giving advice to other young people who want to get involved in the scene.
“My family are mostly very open-minded people and ever since I can remember they have accepted me as I am and encouraged me to be whoever I want to be, I love Mexican culture very much, but I still love Japanese fashion,” she said.
“I’d say to people that if you like something that catches your attention, you want to do it and if it doesn’t hurt anyone then why not do it?
“It’s not worth regretting not doing something you wanted to do when you had the chance just because of other people’s opinions. Don’t worry if others don’t like the way you dress, they don’t pay for your clothes, do what makes you happy.”