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Do you feel that ABJD's compensate for something you don't have IRL?

Aug 15, 2007

    1. I met a Fashion Doll repaint artist recently (I know it sounds OT, but I'm getting to it), and although it was quite by accident that we met, we hit it off quite fast. I mentioned collecting ABJD's and we began to talk in earnest about doll collecting. We were heavily into a conversation about the impact beautiful dolls have in our lives, and what she said to me, struck a cord. The gears haven't quite stopped turning. ^^;;

      She told me that Glamour - though enticing, was something that she was never going to be able to achieve on her own. Life had made it so she wasn't 36-24-36 with a face like Grace Kelly - and although she wasn't disatisfied with her appearance, she wasn't ready to throw in the towel, either. So in her need to be a part of something beautiful, she began to do repaints as a way of making her a part of a world that hadn't quite accepted Her. The dolls - being a creative extension of herself, ARE beautiful and therefore make her FEEL more beautiful. And that in itself, made me wonder about myself and others.

      Do you feel that you 'and/or' others around you are using ABJD's to compensate for something you don't have IRL?
      Maybe it's beauty, style, youth, experience, sex appeal, a perfect figure, fantasy (vampires, elves, etc.), a childhood you didn't experience, a character you needed to have 'come alive', or maybe it's just something as simple as owning dolls of the opposite sex and living vicariously through them.

      I asked a few of the people around me, and although some of them were open with their answers, others felt my question was taboo. That surprised me so much, I felt would make a good debate here.

      I really hope this doesn't get locked. I sincerely want to hear everyone's thoughts, and include my own - if its allowed.


      I'll also answer my own question, if it helps to understand it better. And please forgive the way I word things. The point of this thread - is NOT to say whether or not we buy dolls because we're ugly, old, or deformed. It's to see whether or not you liked something about the dolls you own, that you yourself had at one point, or never had.


      • Do you feel that you 'and/or' others around you are using ABJD's to compensate for something you lack in your life?
      Yes and no. ^__^;;

      Many of my dolls have fun fantasy based storylines, some have less conventional looks and personalities. I'm not a cybernetic being, playboy, muse, pagan, wizard or dictator in real life. But I had an impulsive need to create characters for my dolls, that are different than me. Their looks, personalities, their loves, hates and quirks ~ aren't mine. But learning about them, helps me learn more about myself - and I even end up temporarily developing some of their individual interests, because of it. The characters I create for my dolls, in the end, are all something I am not or cannot be in real life. But it's nice to come home when I'm exhausted from work, and know that by playing with my dolls, and giving them 'lives', part of me can live vicariously through my concepts and depictions of them.
    2. Yes, to an extent. Certain dolls make me feel beautiful. My ability to draw makes me feel like I am ‘worth’ something in this vast population of the Earth. So I understand where she is coming from.

      I am also learning, however, not to allow all of my feelings be dictated by my hobbies OR the people that are around me.

      For me, my dolls allow me to do what I cant do more often than not. (as in dress and personality)
    3. Yes. They compensate for my lack of ball-joint dolls.
    4. Hmmm... kind of.

      With my girl, at least. I remember quite a while ago, finding a girl's website who frequently photographed herself. She had a short bob haircut, and wore lacy white slips as shirts and blue jeans and pointy-toed heels. I thought she was fabulous! XD I personally don't have the energy or natural style to keep up with that kind of glamour for myself, so I try to capture that girl and her style in my Riley.

      I don't think I'm trying to make up for anything with my YoSD, or with my very-long term future male doll, who is handsome but hapless and bumbling. :lol:
    5. Yes,i probably fit in that category.
      I never felt pretty during my childhood and i played with Barbies then cause i felt like a Barbie was a personification of a perfect woman.Nowadays i still do not feel pretty and i play BJD's,which can also represent what we can consider the look of a perfect woman(not all,but some).
      So,when i got into BJD's i didn't think of it as a compensation for all my complexes about my look but now analyzing the whole situation,unconsciously i was doing it.
      Also,i never had guts to wear most of the stuff i love(Lolita,decora),so i'm planning to dress my BJD's on that sort of style,also compensating for my lack of guts to wear it myself.
      Ok,and i am kinda rambling,so the point is:I think that after all these years of teasing and people making my life into living hell in school i had to find a way to feel better about something,and dolls have been my escape from it all.
      (And please,in no way take my post and assume i have anti-social tendencies cause i do not.I also have some friends,that i go out and have fun with.
      No more rambling!XD
    6. Do you feel that ABJD's compensate for something lacking within you?

      No - nor do they represent how i perceive the world around me, how i relate to other people, nor are they my surrogate kids/friends/boyfriend/girlfriend/third cousin once removed, replace a long lost relative who disappeared whilst camel trekking across the Gobi desert, define who i am on any given day of the week, they do not represent any deep dark side of my psyche that is repressed, unconciously or otherwise, due to having been locked in a cupboard under the stairs from the age of 2 until i was released by a concerned neighbour at the age of 34...............BJD's are my Hobby.

      I think we can read too too much into these dolls and the reasons for having them - can't we just bloody enjoy them?
    7. Thank you!!! You said that so very well.

      I have dolls because they are fun and enjoyable for me. Period. It's not any form of compensation or mirror of self or way of perceiving reality or obsession or anything else that deep. I like dolls, so I got me some, to play with how I like. The end.
    8. ^_^ That was fun to read!! :lol:

      Um, I don’t see what’s wrong with liking something so much that in can affect your life. If we all had positive thoughts about ourselves and our hobbies helped contribute to it then it wouldn’t be a bad thing, right? Taking it to far (positive or negative) is never a good thing, but to dismiss it that it cant contribute is not right either, I believe.

      People tend to do it with religion all the time and that is something that’s not even palpable!! (not to be offensive, but just to give an example!)
    9. Actually -- most people use their CHILDREN to compensate for their own perceived shortcomings or short-shrift in life.;)

      That dig said (at the people who, having children, resent those who enjoy hobbies and keep their toys for themselves!), I find a lot of threads here trying to oversimplify. A thousand people, probbaly close to a thousand reasons for liking something. I'm just happy that everybody doesn't like the same few things, or the auctions for the rare prizes would be even worse than they are.

      Based on the premise of this thread, my dolls should all be dressed fabulously, with perfect hair, and I should be creating photostories of them going to exciting places, being totally desirable, and being admired by all who meet them. Oh wait -- that's the World of Barbie....
      At the very, very least, then, I should be fixated on their slender ankles (bad familial gene surprises as the years roll by) and be shooting lots of pix that are borderline fetish-material, and they should all have collections of exotic leggings and ankle bracelets.

      Which isn't the case, as my pile of freshly washed-so-the-don't-stain doll-size jeans attests.

      I guess you could argue that having the time and money and energy to devote to this -- or any -- hobby means that something else must be lacking; otherwise, you'd be spending your time and resources on that! But there is a BIGHELLUVA difference between not having something in your life and AGONIZING over LACKING something in your life.

      Yes, I'm sure there are some driven to live vicariously through the resin residents (or their organic ones). But I'm more sure that there are far more reasonable people who accept that they can't have everything they'd want in life, shrug, and think, so fuggetaboudit, there ARE still things to enjoy!
    10. Yes. In some way at least. I'm no striking beauty myself, so I like to dress/style my dolls, so that they can wear clothes I can't and look great. So yes, I understand how she feels. But on the other hand, through my dolls, I've actually begun to like myself better. I have never had much confidence in myself, but after I've begun to work with my dolls and after I've been "praised" for my work, I feel I'm not totally worthless ^^ So even though i don't look like a movie star, I've gained some "beauty" in another way. Beauty has a load to do with confidence too. Dunno if this just sounds weird ^^;
    11. Absolutely, there is nothing wrong with liking something so much that it can affect your life in some way, just so long as it does'nt mean you spend all your days and nights locked in your bedroom talking to a lump of resin as if it was a human being and imagining it responding to you - that would be a bit alarming don't you think? But having a BJD and using as it as a tool for interacting with others at meets etc is great - or even just coming on DoA and chatting with other members, forging friendships is a positive thing.

      I don't think it is a question of people 'liking' religion is it? That's a completely different kettle of fish - is religion a hobby? ooooh deep thought passes through my brain.....i'm off to contemplate my navel
    12. Hmm I suppose for me it was the lack of being able to play and keep toys as a child and the love of fantasy :) I does kind of fill a void... but I don't know :sweat
    13. Not for me, I love anime and asian culture, and one day I found the paper moon dolls on the net and learnt about bjds from there. ^^
    14. That wasn't the question though. The question is not "do the dolls affect your life" (clearly they do even if it's just that the time and money you choose to spend on them could be spent elsewhere) ---but rather, "do the dolls compensate for something missing in your life" such as appearance or lack of glamour.

      All the poster was saying is that no, they don't. And there have been several threads kind of getting at whether the dolls are serving some deeper purpose than just play/hobby objects. I'm sure for some people they do serve this purpose, but it seems like I'm not the only one who just sees them as fun in my life. Again, this may not be the answer the original poster wants to hear, but it's the truth.
    15. Well, for the most part... I'd have to say no. Not for me, at least. I just wanted to tell a story, like a mangaka or artist or author, and saw doll photostories as a medium through which to do that. That's all. It's just for fun. :sweat
    16. Paper Moon dolls are so cute! (the little ones) I want one!! @_@

      Anyway, Religion can be a ‘hobby’ in the definitive sense of the word. (to me at least.) I am no longer religious and I think of it as a chore (even when I was religious. :? ) I feel as if some people don’t take the time to realize that your religion alone did not make you do the good things (or bad things) you do, but your own being did. Alot of people I have meet solely believe ‘GOD’ did it/made them do it/ was the reason they go their reward for their hard work.

      Same with dolls, the dolls alone can’t make you feel better nor can the compliments you get because of them. But you have to help yourself make you feel better (or worse in some situations). It is an internal thing that goes on in your mind. You believe what you want about yourself (or others) and you can use you doll as a tool to do such.

      Does that make sense? I don’t know how to put it to make it make sense.

      Feeling good about yourself can equate to what you view your worth is. People who use dolls to “talk to people” or “dress a certain way” usually lack the confidence to express some of these ideas themselves. And that is what I meant.
    17. Ha Ha Ha - does that mean the local priest is Cosplaying?;)

      Sorry should'nt joke about religion, well i'm not really, just following through the 'religion as a hobby' idea.
      I don't really care to be honest but i don't think that a discussion on religious dogma is a suitable topic for discussion here so i won't be replying anymore my dear.
    18. Well, I guess. One of the reasons I have my Hound is because he is truly beautiful, and moreover, I created his personality as gentle, understanding, and positive. The reason is probably for the lack of men/boys that are good looking in appearance, and similarly in their character. It disappoints me how most appealing men overuse their appearance in getting 'most out of their lives (having multiple partners, and disappointing the ones that love them).' Therefore I tried to create a more innocent image of a beautiful man with my BJD and he puts a smile to my face :) (Idk if I got my point across lol)
    19. Not necessarily. A lot of my dolls are similar to me in some ways, but different in others. I think their imperfections make them more real, and also allow me to have a more believable fantasy in my head. Not that I LIVE through them, I think it's a perfectly healthy fantasy. But seeing someone like you in some ways, but with tallent, or a job, or family, or something that you wish you had...
      Besides, some flaws can be desirable. Call it crazy, but many people have ameliorated views of what others deem handicaps or flaws. Weaknesses can be desirable too.
      Also, looks aren't the only thing people may compensate for. A very strong, powerful woman might want a more soft and feminine doll. A 13 year old living at home might want a 20 year old doll character who lives independently. Appearance factors are always a possiblity too, though. And those are usually what we recognize first, I think.

      One way this manifests itself for me, is that while I'm quite tall, with a reasonably attractive figure, (I'm no model, but I'm not unattractive) I will never be the cute petite kiddish look that I love. So... I own 3 yos. :sweat And my only other female doll (who is similar to me in many ways) is by far the shortest in my doll family, and intentionally so. Others may think being tall is benneficial, but when you're tall, you often wish for the opposite.
      I also love music, and a part of me wishes I'd focused on this in college. While I'm very happy that I majored in Linguistics and Japanese and I found the path I've followed as it is now, having musician dolls allows me to immagine myself as a part of that world. So in a way, I'm compensating for a lack of that world in my life.

      I don't think this is the ONLY reason I own dolls, nor is it the largest. But it is significant enough that I will never deny it. I think there are benefits toward having fantasies that compensate for things you can't be or don't choose to be. As long as you don't close off from reality and it doesn't make you feel more lacking by comparing yourself to it, that is.
    20. Well I suppose the only thing they compensate for is the fact that i don't wear the goth/punk fashion anymore, though I still love it. So I can take out all my fashion desires and creative concepts on somthing else.

      it's a nice thing.