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Does becoming a "crazy doll lady/person" concern you?

Nov 1, 2015

    1. I've never really collected dolls before BJDs. The closest I came was my My Little Ponies, and while I store most of them away I still have some concerns with the few I leave out. As for my BJDs, I leave them out of their boxes, and as I have 11 of them, I felt that was my cap. While I struggle with how I display them (as I feel sad storing any of them in their boxes), I hoped perhaps I could get away with it because they don't look like normal "toys" and are a little more elegant, plus there weren't too many of them.

      But as I'm getting nearer to having my own home and own SPACE, so is my desire for more dolls growing. I went to the Resin Hearts BJD convention earlier this month and fell so hard in love with Yo-SD size dolls (of which I have none), and now my fiance is hinting at getting me one for Christmas/birthday. Not only that, I've suddenly started noticing off-topic dolls as well, which I never had any interest in before either. My last trip to Disney a few weeks ago opened my eyes to their newest "Attractionistas' line of dolls and I fell absolutely in love. I resisted and didn't purchase one, but I've been thinking about them ever since. Those dolls have also had a helping hand in me researching the Ever After High Dolls which I've also forced myself to ignore for awhile now.

      I'll be honest, I feel very conflicted about it. I like finding blogs from other doll owners and watching videos about them, but of course, there are so many "crazy doll lady" articles and fauxumentaries out there to stumble upon as well and yes, they DO get to me. I'm in my mid-twenties, and I'm a self conscious person. It isn't easy for me to shrug off the haters. My desire for pretty dolls and toys is at a constant battle with my longing for an elegant, mature lifestyle. I also wonder if women/people who have children are better able to cope with the stigma as they can obviously combat the "child substitute" stereotype. But what about those who don't have or want children? Is the stigma then even worse?
      • x 6
    2. What do you mean "becoming" a crazy doll person ;) Sorry I couldn't resist, 'craziness' is so subjective lol

      I also admire many different styles of dolls, even though to me, my collection is quite small (8 bjd, similar number of MH, a few random others). My dolls are not out on display due to a lack of space and not wanting to embarrass other family members, because, yes they do think I'm a bit...eccentric^^ I find for myself a good rule of thumb is, I can admire as many dolls as I like, but I don't need to own them all. If you find yourself liking lots of different dolls, I think it's perfectly feasible to buy one here and there, especially if they're playline dolls. Then when you have had first hand experience, you may find your need to "have them all!" diminishes somewhat. I certainly think you can have an elegant, mature lifestyle and still collect dolls- I like to think I do^^
      • x 3
    3. I probably am that "crazy doll lady", but I really don't care. I have 15 BJDs currently, am married with no children. So the spare bedroom is the 'doll room', set up with dioramas permanently. I also have 3 One Direction dolls, all 5 NKOTB, Justin Timberlake, Elsa, one Barbie and Ken, one Living Dead Doll set and a Justin Bieber, displayed in a case in my sewing room. It might be weird to some, but I just can't be bothered to care. Not many people visit my house and the ones who do know. I don't really think of it any differently than collecting action figures, gaming stuff, sports stuff, etc.

      I've mentioned it before, but as a kid, my grandma's neighbor was an elderly woman obsessed with dolls, to the point of being a hoarder. She kept them all neat and clean and on display, but there were so many that some doors couldn't be fully opened and the whole house had a narrow pathway to walk through. I thought it was awesome at the time, but as an adult, I think that could definitely be the definition of "crazy doll lady" (though she was a very sweet lady!) So I guess, really, it's not a problem to have a hobby and indulge from time to time, but when it affects the lives of you and your family, then you need to re-evaluate what you're doing.
      • x 2
    4. I'm too old to give a hoot anymore about what people think about me. It's just something that comes with age. You do I think get to a certain point in life where if you're not doing what expected of you when people make comments it just fails to sting. I like kids and enjoy sitting them but I don't want any of my own. I got all that maternal instinct, biological clock ticking stuff out of my system early on sitting other people's kids. By the time I was 30 I had changed more diapers than most parents ever will in their lives unless they're into having dozens of kids.

      The doll thing my family is amused more than anything else. I've been asked if it's about the whole empty nest thing but honestly it's not about that at all. It's an ART thing with me. It's a fashion thing. It's a therapy thing. 90% of my dolls are not children. I do have a few but they are in no way substitute babies for me. The dolls that are, reborns, those dolls are among the few that can genuinely creep me out. I don't and never will want one of those. A doll to me is a DOLL, even the younger ones. If a doll is too much like a real child I'm not too comfortable owning one.

      I don't want a traditional suburban life, with husband and children. I don't want the McMansion the SUV, the white picket fence etc. I don't want to have to keep up with the Joneses or have to care much for what other people think of me. Being mature has nothing to do with how you appear to other people. In fact the more mature you are the less you tend to care. Do what you love and don't mind so much what other people think. You only have so much time on this earth. Don't spent it trying to be so mature that you can't enjoy it. It's just not worth it in the end. Be a "crazy" doll person if that is what makes you happy. Better than than you go to your grave bitter and unhappy because you lived your live in a state of denial trying to look properly mature enough to the rest of the world.
      • x 14
    5. No it doesn't concern me. I only show my doll craziness to my family and others in the hobby. However, strangers know me better as:

      "the crazy girl constantly at the post office" and "the crazy girl asking if I can take empty boxes at Walmart".
      • x 4
    6. I don´t think that having these dolls needs to conflict with an ´´elegant, mature lifestyle´´, I see them as pieces of art and display them in my house. Some people have paintings on their walls and sculptures displayed, I have dolls :D People who visit me seem to see them that way, too.
      • x 1
    7. Do you pay your bills on time? Ensure that you have a roof over your head and food on the table? That's pretty mature stuff right there. Age of a person has very little to do with how mature a person is. You can also be mature and still have fun. What's the point of being an adult and able to set your own rules (for the most part) if you can't have a little fun now and again? We only get one turn around the sun so you should make the most of the time you have. Missed chances rarely have do-overs.

      Dolls are like any other hobby. Somebody is always going to find it weird and it'll boggle someone's mind that you spent X amount of money on something that doesn't do anything (aside from give you joy, which, in my opinion, is a valid thing to spend money on if you can afford it). Some people collect baseball cards, some collect tea spoons and some people even go right off the charts and collect really BIG stuff like tanks and planes. It's all subjective and you shouldn't let other people's opinions on how useful/crazy/expensive your particular hobby is sway you from what you enjoy. We all have very personal reasons for why we collect the things we do or are involved in certain hobbies.

      I currently own 33 dolls and will probably up that to 34 by the end of the year (floating head looks likely to get a body) and I have a grown son and grandchildren. My dolls have never been a substitute for kids (I actually don't like children all that much) and I'm quick to straighten people out on that. I'll talk people's ears off if they happen to ask about my dolls (which usually segues into discussions about my novels, my other passion, since my dolls are characters from my novels). Sure, people will say I'm crazy for spending that much money on them but it's no worse than someone who has season tickets to a pro-sporting team, buys all the jersey's, has signed memorabilia, etc.
      • x 4
    8. I think people collect dolls for different reasons. Some like pretty things; some like fashion; some like handicrafts and making things for them; some like the artistry involved in faceup and sculpture; etc. I personally collect dolls as a child substitute - or maybe they are more like pets than children, in that I can't have a conversation with them, but they are still companionable and cheer me up, and I enjoy nurturing them and fussing over them.

      None of these reasons are anything to be ashamed of! I have a child - he's 21 and now left home - I was deprived of pink and frilly stuff, and dolls - if I'd had a daughter probably not so much, but he was more into spaceships, video games and lego (and trust me I tried many 'girl's' toys on him right from the start - and even gave him a bjd 2yrs ago!)

      As a child I always loved my dolls - I cared for them as if they were my pets/children, and have never been able to see them as inanimate objects. IMO this does not make me crazy - although yes, every other adult I know thinks my doll 'habit' strange and juvenile - which is why I love this forum of course - it's reassuring to me to 'chat' to people who don't think I'm crazy ^_^

      Having dolls to love saves me from loneliness, depression and feeling redundant - if nobody else needs me, then my dolls need me - they may even end up in a skip if I die, because they are 'just dolls' to everyone else. If having dolls keeps me off anitdepressants, motivates me and cheers me up, then that's a healthy coping mechanism I think. Don't question why you need dolls, just accept that they fulfill some need in you somehow, and remember there are far worse addictions to have ^_^
      • x 2
    9. @InkyBear, I felt the same way when I was your age. I'm glad that BJDs came along when I was old enough not to care so much about cultural pressure to be what I "ought" to be -- mainly because it was too late for me to check off some of the required boxes (*cough* babies *cough*).

      Now that I'm on the other side, I think the years between mid-twenties and mid-forties are incredibly hard in all kinds of ways, certainly in the US (the culture I know best). The pressure to be what society thinks we (both women and men) ought to be is most intense then, because those are the prime working/childbearing/childrearing years, when culture has its most intense interest in managing how we work/create revenue and how we produce the next generation. On a deep level, the stories and stigma that bother you exist in order to bother you -- they're a form of social control, and their job is to reinforce the cultural norms that keep everyone in line. As a woman in her mid-twenties, you're under particular pressure to have children and then train them to be docile, productive members of society. If you put energy and creativity into any other role or interest, you're a threat to social order, and you need to be scared or shamed "straight."

      I won't go on to burble about the pressures to buy what our society wants us to buy, instead of what we might really want and need, but those are part of the package, too.

      Recognizing all this doesn't free you from the culture you live in, but it does give you some power to resist the pressures, so they don't batter you into submission and warp you into something other than your real self. If you want the pretty doll, and buying it won't take money that you need for life essentials, then buy it. If you choose to display your dolls in the more-public parts of your living space, you can do that -- and you can also change your mind anytime you like. If you choose to be a casual doll hobbyist for a while, dipping in and out of collecting and playing rather than being steadily involved, that's great. If you choose to pursue your doll hobby full-speed-ahead, that's also great.

      Hang in there, okay? And let your fiance know which Yo-SD you want for Christmas before it's too late to put in the order! ;)
      • x 19
    10. No, and this sort of negativity towards harmless hobbies really annoys me. I don't think there is a perfect combination of traits you can adopt that will free you from societal pressure, so you might as well do what makes you happy. I've had people give me static for watching scifi, collecting dolls, playing video games, owning a cat -- none of those things hurt anyone, none of them really matter, but often those who spend their time worrying about making sure they're doing all the "right" things to be seen as normal have a very hard time accepting that not everyone else does. I get it, they're putting in a lot of work to be seen in a certain way, but once you start bending to avoid criticism it never ends, and half the time I feel like societal pressures are contradictory. It's not worth it.
      • x 4
    11. It concerns me just a tiny bit, sometimes I feel like I won't know when to stop buying dolls so eventually I'll just end up with eighty of them or something. I'm only really concerned about having so many dolls that I start to forget their names.
      • x 2
    12. Nah, not really concerned about that xD But I do see why others would.
    13. Since I don't give a rat's - butt about what other people think of me - nope, doesn't concern me at all. If people got a problem with me and my hobbies, it's THEIR problem, not mine.
      • x 5
    14. LOL Why would I? People think whatever. I just don't care.
      • x 2
    15. No. My dolls don't dominate my life or dictate my level of maturity, it's a hobby. My favorite hobby, that I am very invested in, but still a hobby.
      Everyone around me that I care about and happens to know about my dolls, seems to see the art behind them and is supportive and nice, same as I am with their hobbies. It's not all that special actually. And aside from that close circle, I simply do not care about any random people's opinions.
      Really, there's far more important things in life.
      • x 1
    16. As an empty nest adult, I embraced my doll collecting with wholehearted enthusiasm. If anyone wants to label me as "crazy old doll lady" they have my blessing. The dolls are a hobby, just like the traveling and the sewing -- an enjoyment.
      • x 1
    17. Yes. I have a bad habit of collecting things. Though there aren't many sculpts I like, I'll probably end up with a million clothes and wigs and accessories. I already own almost ten pairs of eyes but only three heads.
    18. I completely understand worrying that you'll be labeled a "crazy doll lady." It's hard for me to share my enthusiasm since all of my friends think they're creepy and that I'm insane for spending so much on them. As I get older (I'm 38) I'm afraid people will think I'm using them as child substitutes, since I don't have any kids. I ALSO struggle with wanting a mature aesthetic life and a funky fun life, but I really think bjds are so beautiful and unique that they can fit into either category. I'm not so self conscious now that I'm older, and I don't care how crazy someone thinks I sound as I gush about my newest doll. It's just the stigma of things women tend to like that earns the "crazy" designation. Men can be completely obsessed with sports or cars or hunting and that's fine, but if you're obsessed with dolls, or fashion, or crafting (or cats) you're crazy. Try not to let it get to you!
      • x 7
    19. I'm 37, and I still ask myself, "When am I going to feel like an adult? When am I going to have my life figured out?"
      The short answer is, of course, never! Don't feel bad about your dolls. I know how important wanting to fit in and be what society considers normal seems. But remember that normal is pretty subjective. I used to be a lot more worried about how other people perceive me but I'm not really bothered now. Collecting dolls is a great way to express your creativity and people who don't understand that are usually pretty boring individuals, so don't give them a second thought :) If you're concerned you might go overboard with your collection, try setting some hard limits on what to collect and what to admire from afar. Or give yourself a dollar amount to spend on your hobby each month, or quarter, or year to keep from over spending. Also, a lot of BJD collectors have a one in one out policy to limit the number of dolls they have.
      • x 1
    20. You're definitely not alone in feeling this way. Although I have been interested in this hobby since 2007 it is first now that I've had the courage to buy a doll. I'm very excited about getting her, but also kind of nervous. I know, that I shouldn't care about what other people think of me or my hobbies, but I still do. I'm also in my mid-twenties and have recently been diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder, and one of my main problems is exactly that. I care too much and I always let other people's opinion get to me. Of course it's something I have to work on (for my own sake), but I wish that people would sometimes acknowledge the struggle that others go through and accept that we're not all alike. Not everyone is brave and confident, and some people just have to work a bit harder to get there.
      Also, it's okay to be insecure, and caring about what other people think is not always a bad thing - I'm sure it also makes you a very nice and considerate person, which I think you should be proud of :) I hope it gets better and easier for you with time and that you find some consolation here with all the other "crazy doll ladies" ;)
      #20 Calfuray, Nov 4, 2015
      Last edited: Nov 4, 2015