Being Positive about Yellowing

May 5, 2020

    1. Hello there fellow doll friends:hug:

      What do you think about your yellowed doll(s)? Do you have negative feelings about them/it? And how do you turn that negativity into positive thoughts? Are you able to love your yellowed doll(s)? Are you able to be accepting of it?

      I bought many dolls in 2015, but then stuff happened and I had to quit the doll hobby for years. I put my dolls carefully away into their boxes and kept them in a cool and dark closet for 5 years. Recently I've been able to get back to bjd hobby and I've finally checked on these 5 years old dolls. Some of them had yellowed clearly, some of them probably yellowed but not noticeably. But one doll, a big Soom boy of mine, had yellowed unevenly. It was brand new and shiny white when I sealed it into that box.
      It upsets me a lot since I am a crazy perfectionist and my brain automatically causes hate in me when I have anything that is "imperfect" or "spoiled" etc. But I'm trying hard to change my attitude and learn to love and accept my aged bjds. So maybe reading comments about how you others feel about your yellowed bjds, it could help me deal with this. Thank you~
       
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    2. I love antiques and deal with them in my spare time. I'm also a vintage Barbie doll collector. For me, the appeal of these old objects and dolls is their story. I love it when things have wear to them and were clearly used and loved. For example, I have a #1 Ponytail Barbie, first made in 1959. Most of my collector friends want one that is as perfect as possible, whether or not that entails restoration. Mine is very, very far from perfect. She is missing eye paint, lip paint, some fingers and her toes. She is a homely little creature, but she tells a BIG story. Someone clearly loved her enough to play with her until she ended up like this, and then continued to love her for over 50 years before I rehomed her.

      I really, really hope this applies to BJDs in the future. I like to see ones that are yellowed, that have old faceups or body-blushings, or even modifications. This hobby is about customization, photography, sewing, painting, and so much more! These dolls can tell the biggest story giving how versatile they are. Due to the nature of resin, ALL dolls will probably yellow to some degree in time. If it can't be avoided, I like to embrace it as part of the object's history. Some day, these dolls will be antiques, and I hope that future owners will grow to appreciate them with all of their "flaws".
       
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    3. I came into the BJD hobby from other doll hobbies, amoung others from an interest in antiques and history, so my views are colored by that.
      I think I see it mostly as another aspect of what makes our dolls unique. Even dolls from the same company and era may age differently. Some yellow, some fade, some does so evenly and some does it in different stages in different parts.

      The use of polyurethane resin as a doll making material is a young art!
      We are still learning how the material behaves over time. Even the unintended missteps such as the "beauty green" or the early tans (was it Iplehouse?) turning green due to unstable red pigments breaking down, are part of that process and part of our segment of doll history. The dolls we buy today never were "perfect" in the sense that they have not yet, as an artform, had the time to be perfected. New invetions appear all the time as artists experiement with jointing systems, addatives such as pigments and UV-blockers, casting equipment, resin types etc.
      From an historical perspective, this much experimentation and rapid developement has not been seen in the doll world since the "golden age" of the mid 1800's.
      So I don't judge my dolls or their maker too hard about yellowing. I know it's the nature of this material and I chose to buy the dolls despite that.
       
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    4. Unfortunately, the chemical changes in resin begin as soon as a BJD sees the light, so storing it in the dark for a number of years may not make a difference. How I feel about my mellowing dolls depends a lot upon how much and where the change occurs. I have dolls that I didn't think had changed until I removed head caps and saw the original color inside. If the color is even and all the visible resin is the same color, I don't worry about it, although it may mean that a doll that was wearing short sleeves for a long time won't be wearing anything sleeveless anytime soon--unless I'm trying to encourage the colors to even out. It does sadden me when a faceup fades, however. I've tried to renew a faceup with the sparing addition of paint, but it never looks quite the same after. In that case it might be better to leave it alone and live with it.

      On the other hand, you can look at a badly or unevenly yellowed doll as a license to go wild and experiment with dyes, paints, tattoos, carving, etc., things you would never do to a pristine fresh-out-of-the-box doll. If after experimenting you still don't like it, there's always the marketplace. Someone else may think your project doll is the best thing that ever happened to that particular sculpt and buy it on sight.
       
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    5. My grail doll has yellowed or mellowed quite a bit over the close to 15 years I've had him (he's the one in my icon!)... It used to bother me quite a bit because he was a gorgeous white colour when he first arrived to me, but as white resin goes, yellowing was inevitable. Now 15 years later and after much reflection, it bothers me a lot less, I instead try to find ways to tone down the yellow through faceups and digital colour correcting if needed.. He's still my favourite and I've come to embrace it as part of him growing up :whee:
       
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    6. I’ve always loved the beauty of old things, and found enhanced character in my imaginings of the stories they can tell. So it’s just natural for me to accept yellowing as a part of their history and be able to look beyond it. I have several Volks MSD girls whom I adore that are pretty yellowed, but it doesn’t lessen my love and admiration for them in any way. I knew they were yellowed when I adopted them so it’s just part of who they are. Their coloring is even, but I did adopt a girl with uneven “greening” once...a beautiful early tan skinned Peakswoods. I had every intention of correcting the unevenness with some careful blushing once she arrived...but when she did, I took one look at her and fell hopelessly in love. I could never bring myself to alter her in any way, and instead incorporated it into her character. Today she is my beloved, faded Second-hand Rose.:)
       
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    7. I did a crazy amount of research before purchasing my first resin BJD, and all the info I could find indicated that yellowing was inevitable. So I made a deal with myself to not stress about it and just enjoy my dolls.

      That said, if one of my dolls became so yellow in the future that it no longer fit the character it was supposed to be, I would consider trying one of the methods I've heard of for taking some of the yellowing out.
       
    8. While I was modding/sanding/going absolutely feral with one of my dolls, I got to notice how much she’s yellowed since I got her (2015? I think?) I had to think about what I’m going to do with her, and I’ve decided, if ever she yellows so much she no longer suits her character, I’m going to dye her a fantasy colour and keep enjoying her. I’ve done it before, and I love eccentric resin colours. I think that’s what I’ll do with most of them, of their yellowing ever bothers me
       
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    9. I love yellowed dolls! It gives them a lot of character, and I agree with Vermont Chick, I think It gives a wonder chance to go ham.
       
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    10. Like a lot of people here, I love history and things with character and story to them. Also, from a practical perspective most of the items I own are second-hand and hand-me-downs and it has been this way for me all my life. I just never felt that awkward or ashamed about having "old" or "used" things and dolls are no different. My very first doll (in my icon) is an unevenly yellowed KDF Bory and it was a sculpt I loved and wanted for years before chancing on the sad little gremlin at a local market. I wanted him more than I cared about how badly and unevenly he'd yellowed. The same is true for almost all my dolls: they are nearly all secondhand and came with stories or with wishes that I would continue loving them and caring for them as their previous owners. Yellowing is just something that happens naturally and it will never bug me. It adds to the story.
       
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    11. I've also always loved old things, and as a student of history who plans to work with museum collections, I see so much beauty in yellowed dolls! I've owned brand new and second hand dolls, but the doll I own now is the oldest at 13 years. her yellowing is beautiful, and I find myself purposefully seeking out old dolls. they have so much soul.
       
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    12. I agree with the general sentiment in this thread - if you learn to be relaxed about resin dolls yellowing, it will save you a lot of valuable energy you can use better elsewhere. But if you find that the change in a certain doll is really beyond what you can bear - well, you can always sell it, and it will probably sell faster than a pristine doll. All project/ repair/ mod/ dye/ fixer upper dolls get snapped up fairly quick, it's a great phenomenon we have going on in the hobby since its beginning. So nothing to stress about either. Yellowed dolls can be restored to a more original color by a de-zombification dye bath, too. Some BJD modders offer this service.

      For me the border was crossed when my white French resin dolls (pre-UV-additive period) turned Homer Simpson yellow after 1-2 years. That's a yellow other properly cared for resin dolls usually do not get to, it's that extreme. They just didn't fit their characters anymore, and dyeing them would not have fit either. So I sold them and replaced them with normal urethane dolls.

      Now a new doll that is unevenly yellowed after having been out of the light for its whole existence is something of an oddity. Usually that only occurs when a doll is partly exposed to light for a longer period, or if a doll is made up of parts from different resin batches. I wonder what Soom has been doing there?
       
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    13. I'm not a fan of the more Homer-Simpson-Yellow or green-ish tones some dolls turn, but it's not the end of the world.

      I'm not afraid of dyeing dolls or painting over resin so it's fixable at least. I like my dolls more after face-upping them so it's just part of the bonding process for me, I guess.

      And even my oldest doll (10+ years at this point), I can tell he has yellowed, but he doesn't really look weird yet at least. Or weirder, anyway. Dollzone's tan skewed a little spray tan orange at the time he was made. I prefer the tans that look more like milky coffee these days.
       
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    14. As much as I love the image of stark white dolls, I just roll with the fact that they won't always be like that nowadays. Turning an actual yellow or green would get to me as that would be a major difference.

      Yellowing, or mellowing as it is naturally? I have had my Doll Chateau Lilly for about three and a half years now. She definitely used to be whiter, and has been turning into more of an ivory color. I've realized I actually really like it, she has skull makeup with white detailing and it just makes the white show up more. It was definitely something I had to come to terms with, however, as aesthetics are such a big thing for me as an artistically inclined person.
       
    15. I prefer the colour that many "normal" skin dolls go after they have yellowed a bit . The pre-yellowed colour is too pink to look like a convincing fleshtone to me. So long as the yellowing is even all over,rathert than patchy, I'm fine with it.

      One of my girls' face has greened rather than yelllowed, however, and has taken on a zombie-like hue to her face that is decidedly offputting. I have nothing against zombie dolols, but this girl isn't supposed to be one.

      I've never been a fan of stark white dolls - the one I had got dyed royal blue because the white-skin just looked... Unfinished to me. Like the doll had left the factory beofre having the correct colour added to the skintone. So yellowing is a big improvement on "whiteskin" dolls as far as I'm converned.

      Teddy
       
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    16. I don't like it all :(
      I found a tutorial for covering the doll in whitening toothpaste and letting it set for a while. It worked pretty well but the doll will smell MINTY.
       
    17. I wonder if brand of whitening toothpaste and differences in ingredients used in dfferent countires would effect the results.

      Teddy
       
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    18. Have you ever dyed a yellowed doll brown, or can you direct me to before and after photos of someone else's attempt? (I know it's not a fantasy color, obvs, but I thought maybe you had tried it as well.)

      I recently acquired a yellowed DC Bella, and have been toying with the idea of dying her brown because I really want to have more non-white dolls in my collection and her yellowing takes the pressure of failure off me a little. But she's a valuable enough doll that I don't want to jump into it without seeing how it worked for others.
       
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    19. Most of my dolls were purchased second-hand, so they had probably yellowed before I got them.
      Personally, I don't mind, I have modded a few dolls, and have blushed most of them. So, to me, they're perfectly imperfect.

      I can see you being upset over seeing your boy with uneven yellowing, especially after being in storage. Do you have a character for him? Maybe you could incorporate the yellowing as part of his character. Even an outfit could cover most of the body, so maybe you wouldn't see it, and the yellowing won't bother you. :)
       
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    20. I must admit I get very upset. My Pasha mini got slightly yellow after 2 months of getting her. She was never exposed to direct sunlight but she was quickly no longer pale, her body got a tad yellow. Now I keep her in her box out of fear she will get worse, and I miss her a lot.

      Also 4 of my 5 vintage Kenner Blythe dolls also succumbed to the yellow. But they're 50 years old, I accept it's part of life.