Doll Discrimination at Meetups

Mar 20, 2019

    1. Have you ever dealt with bullying or doll discrimination at a doll meet?
      For example: Everyone else has MSD and you prefer YoSD?
      You like Luts, but you don't have an Iplehouse?
      Resin vs Vinyl?
      I mean active discrimination, not welcomed diversity.

      In any case, how do you deal with it?
      How would you deal with it if you weren't the one being singled out?
      If you were the host, what would you do?
      #1 Cecibelle, Mar 20, 2019
      Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
      • x 1
    2. I don't understand how having different preferences for a size or company is considered doll discrimination? Different strokes for different folks.

      Unless someone is actively saying or doing hurtful things towards you based on your doll choices, I wouldn't consider having a different doll than everyone else as being bullied.

      If my doll is different than everyone else's (which it often is), I try to embrace the diversity I bring to the table.
      • x 12
    3. @NekoNyanMew That's precisely it. It was a very vocalized preference. It was suggested people that had the dolls I did were lesser. This was done carefully out of earshot of the host, typical mean girl gossiping meant to hurt feelings.
      While I personally don't understand why people can be this way, they are. I think it's worth talking about.
      Many new people to the hobby run into this situation.
      • x 1
    4. Ah, so this is a specific situation you are talking about. In General Discussion we can discuss this as a hobby related issue, what we cannot do is hash out specifics of your experience. Other people were at this meet, and we cannot have people called out in a place they cannot defend themselves. Please stick to generalities that everyone can relate to.
      • x 3
    5. Hello! Actually, it was just for general discussion! I offered my situation as it seemed I was misunderstood. I definitely do not want to discuss my particular situation in detail. My aim was honestly for others input on how they would handle this issue.
      • x 5
    6. As a participant, if I saw someone being left out or gossiped about, I would definitely either go over and talk with them, or make positive comments to hopefully try and turn the tide in the gossiping group (if it were appropriate). This isn't just limited to dolls, but in any social situation, I don't like it when someone gets ill-treated and would do my best to make them feel more welcome. Even if I don't enjoy their type of doll quite as much as other dolls that may be present, a person is still a person to valued, regardless of their choice in dolls (or anything else for that matter).

      If I were the one being singled out, I'd just try to think the best of the others and enjoy observing the other dolls as much as I could. It's always fun seeing new kinds of dolls which I don't own myself - a great way to plan future purchases, too. :-)
      • x 11
    7. @shan Awesome input! Thank you! I feel the same. I'm fascinated by all sorts of dolls and see meetups as a chance to "catch-em-all" so to speak.
      I definitely think it's important to involve someone new even if it's just a simple conversation. Thank you again.
      • x 2
    8. I've run into this before - we were at a meet run by folks who owned largely vinyl dolls and we brought all resin. The other owners stood in a group with their backs to us talking among themselves the whole time. It was frankly bizarre. The main host went out of her way to talk to us occasionally, but there's only so much one person can do.

      I don't really know what can be done in that kind of scenario - if people don't want to be friendly with you because they're not interested in your dolls, it's not like you can make them. I guess the best way is to plan your own meetups without those people, so everyone can enjoy their dolls in peace.

      Now if someone is being actively rude, and not just exclusionary... I guess it would be good for the host to say something, if they know it's happening. I'm terrible at confrontation, though, and I never know what to say to people in the moment, so I have no idea how I would handle a situation like that.
      • x 9
    9. It's been years since I went to a meet... I'm not even sure if there's a group in Seattle that *does* meet regularly anymore... But back-in-the-day I can say with some confidence that it just wasn't "a Thing" to play dolly gate-keeper. We had people show up with just about everything, and they'd all end up lined up together on the little sofa at Dolls & Friends, or posed together on the big table at Oasis. I never heard anyone bullied for what they brought.

      That said... Not everyone likes the same things. Not everyone should be expected to, and there's nothing wrong with saying that Sculpt A or Company B just isn't your cup of tea. As long as people aren't being rude or personal about it, it shouldn't be taken as an insult or a judgement. People are allowed to have opinions.

      If they ARE being rude or personal about it, though, that's a different matter. That's not being opinionated. That's being an ass. Depending on the circumstances, your best bet is probably just to ignore them, or to have a quiet word with your host or organizer about it, if they seem sympathetic. No group needs that kind of bull.
      • x 19
    10. I always felt that the whole purpose of doll meets was to get to see doll sculpts that I don't own in my collection in person and admire and maybe purchase my own one day. I love dolls of all sizes but prefer to bring MSD size to doll meets and gatherings because they are the perfect size Im always afraid Ill lose my littles or the SDs will be to big and heavy to deal with. I have to admit its been a while since I've been to a meet but I've never been discriminated against for the dolls that I have brought or discriminated against anyone for the dolls that they have brought. I always admire everyones creativity in displaying there dolls and hope to always make people feel welcomed and included.
      • x 3
    11. I've only been to two meets, one small and one large one. There was absolutely no cattiness, rudeness or exclusion in either of them. I agree with @sherryhable in that the fun of going at all was to see dolls that I would probably never own myself or think of owning, just like you would go to an art gallery with no intention of owning/liking every piece but just wanting to view them. Or maybe finding that you like something in person that didn't impress you in photos.
      This is especially true in this hobby since very few of us live near stores where we can see bjds on display.
      • x 5
    12. Wow. I've only been to one meet, but everyone was nice as could be, and there were BJDs from a several companies, ranging in size from minuscule to humongous, resin and vinyl, human and fantasy. It was great, and we had a blast oooing and ahhhing over each other's dolls - which is exactly what I was hoping for when I went. Truthfully, if I had been greeted with cattiness instead, I probably would have thanked the organizer, packed up and left. Life is too short to subject oneself to that kind of grade-school mentality ugliness, and hanging out with rude, unpleasant people is not high on my list of entertaining things to do.
      • x 13
    13. This feels like a more everyday thing (how do you deal with people who are clicque-y) as opposed to doll specific? Like, change the hobby and this still happens to everyone. With that said I'm sorry it happened to you.

      I'm lucky in that the meets I attend seem to be overwhelmingly positive, with a very diverse mix of dolls - while we all get excited about some of the specific sculpts (Peachydaydreams Onedat comes to mind!), but there was resin, vinyl, barbie, everything, and everyone was overwhelmingly positive. Our meets/group have simple rules (bring only as many dolls as you can carry, no negativity or bullying, and something else I've forgotten haha), maybe establishing and publishing norms like this on future event pages will make people think twice?
      • x 2
    14. Sadly, this happened to me once in a small doll meeting after I got my first doll and straight to my face.
      An owner called my doll cheap and rudely asked if she even could stand by herself and told me I should have saved more money and afforded something better. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, seriously, that could have thrown me out of the hobby if I had cared more about what other people said. The other owners tried saying something nice about my doll but this person kept acting the same towards everybody. I was so relieved she left the meeting early.
      Fortunately, I have never crossed paths with that person again. I personally don't understand that attitude in a hobby with so many sculpts and styles.
      • x 13
    15. I think it’s weird to be honest. The groups & events I’ve been to have been very welcoming, even Ldoll, which was my first bjd event. I’d be quite hurt if I was ostracised for my unusual preferences, since it’s already a niche hobby and people don’t need to feel more odd than many of us already do when carrying dolls in public.

      Personally, I like to see different dolls, I kinda think that’s the point of meetups, as well as cheating about different ideas. What on Earth would be the point of this hobby if we al, bought the same doll & styled it the same way?
      • x 7
    16. I have never EVER met this attitude at any of our doll-meets. Guess "my" folks are just, like, people who're grown-up enough (mentally) not to show childish behaviour like that? It's usually "the more diverse, the merrier" - cos, frankly? Who doesn't like to see a doll they've never seen before? And we got so many different kinds of dolls, from so many different companies, in our small group ...
      • x 6
    17. I'm very happy most of you have been so welcomed and welcoming.
      While yes, it's gatekeeping and you can find it anywhere- I still feel like it was something to discuss. At least being aware that it happens, and if the situation arises- you would help!
      I think for me, ignoring the rude behavior towards me is best- it worked in school so if they don't feel like being grown ups it will probably still work on them now.
      If I saw it happening, you better believe I would step in and involve the outcasted doll! Maybe we can do our own mini photoshoot, I probably have a MSD /tiny set in my car!
      I'd be inspired to make my own meet after that. If funds and location allowed. I might even do a "demo" at a park, maybe we can find new friends there.

      Not everything in any hobby is going to be rainbows, but accepting that is important I think.
      • x 5
    18. I can't say it's something I've ever encountered at a meet, and I've been to lots of meets, hosted and organised by different people (from various forums, not just DoA folk) and at some of them my dolls (and I) have stood out like a sore thumb against the prevailing styles of the others attending, but have never felt anything other than welcomed and included.

      I would imagine that any organiser worth their salt would discourage such behaviour, and the first step toward that would be lettign them kow it's happening - the problem being that if it's carefully done out of the organiser's earshot, they have nothing to go on but your word against that of the person or group involved, in whihc case there's not a lot they can be expected to do about it.

      If I were another attendee at a meet and witnessed it happening I'd comment on it. If I were the person it was being done to, I'd do the same. In either case, I'd do it loudly enough that others could be aware of my response.

      Let's face it, if someone at a meet loudly says, "Of course you're entitled to your opinion about my dolls, but there's no need to be so rude and biggoted about it!" people within earshot would take notice and the person trying to be sneaky about their nastyness would be put on the spot.

      Interestingly, I have encountered something similar, years ago, on the forum, rather than in person at a meet, when I pointed out that someone had been very rude to someone else on a particular thread, and the clique who donimated that thread closed-ranks (both on the thread and in some very nasty private messages) against me like playground bullies in defense of their friend.

      I also got a number of private mesages from others who hadn't dared comment on the rudeness for fear of being singled out by the clique as I had been, including the person the rudeness was directed against. I got a very polite and reasoned private message from the person I had accused of rudeness, which led to an exchange of messages that I felt resolved the matter between the two of us. In the end I just avoided that thread on the grounds that I did not want to associate with such a close-minded clique and there are other forums and threads where I can share my enthusiasm for that particular type of BJD.

      One such occurance in all the years I've been on DoA means such people are in the minority and I had made some new friends among the people who private-messaged me in support of my speaking out.

      • x 7
    19. I can't say I've dealt with it, but I've heard stories of it. Dollfie dream collectors basically outing the rest of the community after a few meets mostly. (And of course, I have no negative feelings about anyone, so please don't think I'm outing my fellow collectors! )

      I've heard a somewhat local doll group used to get together regularly, combined with the DD collectors. And suddenly those with DD's stopped hosting groups, wouldn't allow other collectors to join, would sit separately if they show up to resin meets.

      I guess I personally wouldn't care if someone wanted to out me for resin? Everyone likes what they like, but sure if they were aggressive about it, I'd probably simply tell them that they collect what they collect, and I collect what I collect. There's nothing wrong with it so they shouldn't pursue being the poison in the community. But all in all if they don't want me in their clique, then... well, okay! Fine. :) There's others who /will/ want me in their clique. All in all, doll meets are supposed to be fun and uplifting, and the point is we're supposed to accept all collectors. If you run into an issue where it's all minifee owners ,but you have iplehouse and htey seem to be off putting, just tell them, politely, you do not collect that brand, and next time perhaps they should list fairyland only, etc. But why we would wnat to out fellow collectors is a mystery to me.
      • x 4
    20. Like a lot of people have said, I think the point of meets is seeing a variety of dolls in real life. I wish I lived in more of a doll hotspot so I could see dolls that aren't ones I'd like to own - like, I don't want a vinyl doll, but I would love to handle one.

      Generally the best way to deal with other people's poor/damaging behavior is to distance yourself and find more positive support systems. It doesn't have anything to do with you - behavioral science perspective there - if that helps at all.
      • x 3