Breaking the news to your family?

Dec 18, 2020

    1. Hello! I got my first doll a little over 2 years ago now, my beloved Faust, a Switch Sohwa on the 65cm body, and my family has never been judgemental about him! Perhaps a little weirded out at first but they accept me and all of my ~quirky~ hobbies completely. However, this has not stopped me from feeling kind of embarassed and perhaps even mortified about bringing a second doll into the home I share with my mother and younger siblings. On a conscious level I know they would most likely just sigh and say "another one, is this one just as heavy?" and laugh at me trying to get the doll into some clothes. But I really cannot help the slight feeling of embarassment as I currently sit here, writing in my info to partake in Switch's 10th year anniversary lottery for (hopefully, fingers crossed) my second doll.

      This will NOT stop me from applying nor getting the doll, absolutely no way, but did anyone else start out feeling a keen sense of embarassment when they were new in the hobby or when they had to introduce their family to it? I'm not quite sure if it's the price that's causing me to feel this way, it may very well be. But it is my own money and they all know how expensive Faust was so it's not like that would be news. I didn't feel like this with Faust at all, but I suppose that could have been the excitement of finally getting a doll after pining for a BJD for almost 10 years.

      tl;dr: I'm applying for a lottery to hopefully get my second doll. I live with my family that didn't mind my first doll at all, but I suddenly feel kind of embarassed about getting a second doll and letting them see it. Has anyone else experienced this? What kind of reactions have you gotten from your own families?
      • x 8
    2. I don’t think I felt any embarrassment but I think I felt a little apprehensive about having multiple dolls and my mom finding out about them. It’s that sense of ah I might get in trouble with her.

      Especially when it grew from one to like 5 and a floating head so quickly. But in my case, I don’t live with family so it’s not like they have to look at my dolls or I have to kind of hide it from them so I think maybe that’s why I don’t have those feelings.

      Ultimately, I think you have to come to terms with it being your hobby and be shameless about liking what you like :)
      • x 3
    3. Honestly not at all, I have, and have always had, zero shame when it comes to dolls :XD:
      • x 9
    4. I think that when we feel embarrassed/ashamed about something, it comes from our own opinion that there's something wrong with ourselves. You can't control how other people feel or react, but only your own beliefs and reactions.

      I did feel a bit weird at first when I told my parents that I would start collecting expensive dolls. For me, it was mostly the price that made me feel uneasy, I thought that I was crazy to spend that much money on dolls. Yes they are works of art, but they can still be seen as toys since I was conditioned to view dolls as toys. I didn't feel ashamed that they were dolls since I've always been into dolls (I played with Bratz dolls well into my teenage years and my parents used to buy them for me even though I was ''past the age'' of playing with dolls.)

      It's good to have supportive family members who are accepting of this hobby. I'm lucky because my parents actually think that my dolls are beautiful despite their price and they like how I started sewing clothes for them and decorating their space. Because my parents approve of my dolls, it helps me think that I'm alright for spending thousands of dollars on dolls and their many accessories. It's sad that I sometimes have to rely on other people's opinion to be accepting of myself and my actions.
      • x 7
    5. I never experienced any feelings of anxiety, or embarrassment other people seem to. I was already a grown adult when I got my first BJD, but I have always collected dolls and toys of many different kinds. I never stopped collecting because I grew up or "old." I kept purchasing dolls and toys with my own money from when I was really young, up until now. I feel that it probably has to do with how families interact with each other; my parents and I are vegan, and our extended family always think of us as the "weird" ones (all in good humor, there's never any ill-intent). My parents have always known I collect toys and other stuff (such as anime, video games, skulls, etc.), so they never judged nor questioned my desire to own more expensive dolls. However, a lot of my friends who collect toys or dolls, do get judgement from either their families or their significant others. I'm lucky that I have never developed any interest in romantic or physical relationships, my money is my own to do with as I please, so I literally have no one to respond to about my purchases. I think I'm a rare lucky weirdo, but nonetheless I always find it interesting that working individuals have to justify their hobbies to others, because I never had to (and I honestly don't see a reason to do so) -- which I'm very grateful that my parents, friends and family never meddle in and think it is "normal." Despite complete strangers always questioning my physical health and vegan life style out of nowhere. DX
      • x 8
    6. Since I lived on my own when I got my first doll, I never felt embarrassment at first. However, with 10 different dolls to my name, and most right there on display, when my family comes around I get a little...apprehensive about how they might ask about the dolls? None have yet, because they trust that it's my money and I already collect so many other things...but for me, I grew up with people scrutinising my hobbies and ultimately deeming them stupid so I still get self conscious about pretty much everything I collect, especially BJD which can be a hard thing to explain if like me you're much better at typing than speaking.

      Maybe I feel this way too because I'm a boy and you know, stereotypes about dolls being for girls. Either way, I always remind myself that my dolls bring me joy and that's what matters. If my only excuse is 'they make me happy' it's a good one if anyone asks.
      • x 5
    7. My mom and sister are extremely judgemental about dolls, with my first one I was so happy to have him that the sensation overshadowed the guilt of spending money, (mostly because even if it was my savings it was my family money). Anyway the guilt prevented me to buy proper clothes and accessories, so I've closed him and the hobby in a box waiting for the right time. Now I have a proper job, a proper house and a proper fiance that's literally begging me to buy someting for myself because years of judging my hobbies by my family basically zeroed my willing to buy anything for my pleasure. Needless to say that 2021 will be a good BJD year for me :wiggle

      Anyway since I talk a lot with my mom when she questions my hobbies I usually remind her that I could buy 2 volks SD a year with what she spend in a year in cigarettes, the only difference is that Dolls are not going to make me sick.
      • x 8
    8. I had no shame telling my dad- I went through the phase of being worried about his opinion way before that point. He knows I'm a furry and likes dolls, and he still doesn't mind. Albeit he probably was weirded out about it at first too- but he's accepted it.
      Plus I rely on his PayPal to order online, and he's never once stopped me because of what I'm buying- his only concern with my hobbies are if I've drained my bank account dry yet

      However, I haven't told my mother a n y t h i n g on it. She will side eye me for it! Here's the thing, if she will judge me for it, then she doesn't get to know. She doesn't get to decide what I like, nor does she get to kill my joy for hobbies. Yes it's a tad crazy to spend so much on one thing, but it's worth it to me. Prices of dolls is another reason I don't tell her tbh- she's a cheapskate by nature

      So it's not that I don't feel embarrassment, but I'll feel it if I'm lead to by others influence.
      It still won't stop me from buying another doll after I save up (and after I'm done working on the first ahhhHHHH)-
      • x 2
    9. Over the years of trying to figure out how to exist comfortably in the world, I feel like I've realized that a lot of "grown-up" hobbies are the kinds that don't allow for much creativity or creation, and/or they're very male dominated. What kinds of things tend to be called frivolous when it comes down to it? Clothes, shoes, dolls, toys, games, models, abundant decoration... you get the point.

      Why is it that watching TV and sitting and drinking are acceptable ways to hang out in so many people's eyes, but if you sit and drink and play DnD it's suddenly nerdy? Why is it that collecting expensive vases is sophisticated but collecting figurines and dolls is not?

      It's all very much made up and then internalized over the years, and I feel it unfortunately exerts control about how people's money is spent in this silent way. And then it hurts when you try to do the things that interest you, and the control (judgment) is exerted not so silently by your friends or people you love.

      I've gone through a lot of phases of guilt and self-admonishment over spending money on things I enjoy. It's not confined to BJDs. It's always been more of an experience of wondering if what I want and what I enjoy is worth spending my time and money on, and if that's "fair" ... or something. It's such a hard set of feelings to explain. Maybe it really is more about whether I feel that *my* interests and hobbies are worth spending time and money on, rather than judgement of the validity of any of the hobbies themselves.

      With all that being said, once I remembered how much I had wanted to get into BJDs when I was a kid, and finally went for it this fall, I felt much more at peace with a lot of aspects of myself. My creativity has returned. So I think overcoming the feelings it brings on for me to process has been very worth it, and I won't give up on that. That's for sure.

      • x 9
    10. My first doll was a shock to my parents, but after that it was just kind of like ‘it’s your money, as long as you pay your bills, buy what you like.’ I’m thankful my sister is also in the hobby so she gets it!
      • x 2
    11. I'm an adult, with a job, who pays my bills, and doesn't live in the same city as my parents. They have some vague awareness of them, but no real interest or concern over them (and as my stepmom also collects dolls, though a different type, no real issue with it either). They recognize them as an artistic collection and don't lose any sleep over it.
      • x 2
    12. Oh gosh, yes, I definitely felt that embarrassment too. Not gonna lie, it took me 3 years of being with my husband to finally take my dolls out of storage and confess that I even owned BJDs! And he of course was completely fine with it and never shamed me. He was the first person, other than me, who’d even seen my dolls in about 7 years.

      The reason I was so embarrassed about my dolls was that my older sisters LOVED to make fun of me when I got my first BJD at 19. They’d snort-laugh and loudly say (in front of other people for maximum embarrassment), “You still play with DOLLS!!” And they’d tell me how creepy it was, and how weird I was for owning one.

      And during that time, I started dating this guy, and I showed him my new BJD because I was really excited about it. He freaked out and said, “What the hell is that?! Why are you showing me this?! This is really weird...” He started treating me differently after that, and slowly distanced himself from me until things fizzled out.

      So yeah... I learned to hide my dolls away. I didn’t want anyone else to see them. It really sucks how bullying and shaming can hurt our confidence in our own hobbies. :(
      • x 4
    13. I am still in the very new stage of this hobby - much newer than you. I have grown children, a husband and a mother who is in her 80s. None of them truly understand. I get comments which range from, "Those are creepy!" to just ignoring them.
      My mother enjoys the fact that I am sewing now - always one of her hobbies, however she wondered why "I didn't make something more useful." I come from a very artistic family so I have tried to emphasize the art aspect of the hobby. My husband liked the face up I painted and one of the photographs I took. He also likes that it makes me happy.

      Do I feel embarrassed sometimes? - Yes. I have to remind myself that this is something I do for myself. It is a creative outlet for me. I have always been someone who has looked to others for approval and I need (especially at my age) to stop that!

      I must say though, I met virtually with some people from my area who are in the hobby and that helped a lot. Being on this forum helps a lot too, because when you find something you love, you want to share it with others!
      • x 4
    14. I'm so sorry this happened to you, and I can really relate.
      I had a similarly unforgettable experience with a BF and his friends, when they made nasty comments about an in progress doll I had sculpted. She was really beautiful... just not perfect yet, and the comments hurt me in all facets, from artistic capability to feeling like my hobby and art was weird at baseline. No, it was well done.. I still remember her sweet imperfect face with elf ears and sparkly makeup.
      I could never bring myself to work on her again so I got rid of her ... I don't remember what I did with her which I suppose is for the best, but to this day I feel sad about all of the experience. It definitely contributed to a long hiatus from most of my art.

      I never want to have that feeling again. It was one of the last straws on top of a lot of compounding issues around the relevance of and resources needed to do my art.
      I am so fortunate now that my husband supports my hobbies, but it took a long time to return to them and convince myself that my art is of value.

      The quote gets me. It's always struck me as strange when artistically minded people suddenly wonder why *your* art isn't useful art. Isn't the purpose of art to express oneself? I certainly enjoy sewing dresses, but when push comes to shove, I believe art is and should be "for the sake of it."

      I am glad you continue with dolls anyway! It is so fun to see our crafts all roll up into a single hobby, and very rewarding to see all the pieces come together. I have been explaining it lately that the doll is like a tasty tortilla chip.. great in itself, but also a wonderful vessel for all sorts of toppings ;)
      #14 maxxxamillion, Dec 18, 2020
      Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2020
      • x 5
    15. This is exactly how I feel. I always loved to sew, but never really could stick to a pattern. I loved making costumes! I love painting, sketching and making up stories - especially fantasy based. I love crafts especially 3-D creations. With this hobby, I have made resin eyes, painted a doll head, made countless doll costumes, have created fantasy characters, and learned how to use nice digital cameras that were just laying around waiting to be used. I have researched how to make wigs and wings and other attachments for my characters and I have connected with creative people here, on Etsy, and on Instagram who have made wonderful creations!
      I love this! It is very true.
    16. This is hard for me to answer because I have always been infatuated with dolls since being born, so it kind of comes with the territory. EVERYONE who knows me, knows I have a LOT of dolls!
      • x 1
    17. Fortunately my mom likes dolls (when I was a kid she was really excited to pass on her dolls and dollhouse to me) so she legitimately thought it was cool when I showed her my first BJD. We've been through the "me getting into a weird hobby" thing before, though, when I became a lolita. In that case she really didn't like it at first and made some comments about it that made me feel bad, but she's gotten used to it over the years and is perfectly fine with it now. I think the same thing might happen with people whose families don't like dolls if they give it time.
      • x 2
    18. My dad was a huge collector - African masks, Japanese pottery, tsubas and katanas, antique books, clocks and furniture...the list goes on. He had a lot of interests, and each inspired him to collect. Subsequently, every time I developed a fascination with something, he began to collect for me. (My mom loved cookbooks, and he bought her so many that we had to line a room with bookshelves. :XD:) If he were still here, I have no doubt that he'd be buying dolls for me. Sadly he is not, but I do know that I would never have been embarrassed about buying them for myself when I still lived at home. As for siblings, in-laws and such, I'm a grown woman and I don't care what they think, lol...undoubtedly my dear dad's influence, having taught me to be proud of wide and varied interests. My wish for you and every doll collector is that they might stand up just as proudly and feel the same.

      Oh, and I buy BJDs for my daughter, so I actually share the hobby with one family member. :)
      • x 7
    19. I think my parents would be weirded out, although my mom knows I like miniatures... I'm not planning on saying anything, I'm an adult and I have my own hobbies.

      Most of my friends know I love bjds and either think its cool or keep their opinions to themselves. :XD:
      • x 2
    20. I've had dolls my whole life.

      I am lucky in that my Grandmother also had dolls her whole life. She broke the family in for me. :XD:
      • x 3