At the beginning of the new year, Channel 4 of UK broadcasted the programme called “Secrets of the Living Dolls”, exploring the world of “female maskers”; men dressing in elaborate body suits and masks to transform themselves into female dolls. The programme deals with the female masking community from the aspects of individuals’ and their families’ and friends’ approach to the concept, social concerns, notion of beauty as well as the emerged family business of manufacturing a second skin for female maskers all over the world.
The way the interviewees are approached and the remarks in response, however, raised a lot of controversy especially as to whether the programme was serving to heighten awareness about trans issues or undermining the whole process.
Dominique, who is featured in an extra of “Secrets of the Living Dolls”, remarks: “For people to realise that this beautiful, big white woman is really a black man is really… mind-blowing!” Another interviewee, Joel, discusses his masking and coming out to his friends along with his girlfriend.
“Secrets of the Living Dolls” can be streamed on the Channel 4 website (UK only) along with two extra interviews. Shorter clips or the entire documentary is available on Youtube and other more or less legal streaming portals for viewers outside the UK.